Empirically Designed Framework for Junior Software Product Managers

University essay from Blekinge Tekniska Högskola/COM

Abstract: Context. Software Product Management (SPM) is an activity done by software product managers to develop products from the very first idea till the product is release to the market and providing service to customers. SPM helps software product managers to successfully maintain their product throughout product lifecycle till it is disposed of from the market. In this thesis we have studied about SPM both from the state of knowledge and state of practice to understand the different activities being followed by software product managers and concepts in those activities. Objectives. The study identifies the practices followed in SPM, both from the literature and industrial practitioners. The study also unravels the order in which they implement SPM activities. We have focused on what activities need to be focused by junior software product manager when implementing SPM and based on the inputs from software practitioners a preliminary framework was designed. Methods. Literature review was conducted to identify what are the different practices in SPM. To cover the literature related to SPM different international databases like Compendex, Inspec, IEEE Xplore, ACM Digital Library, Wiley Inter Science, Scopus, Science Direct, and Business Source Premier are selected. Articles from databases are selected between the years 1995-2011. Text books related to SPM, conference proceedings and grey literature are also used. Interviews and Survey are conducted with practitioners to identify how SPM is being implemented in organizations. We have also focused on what activities need to be implemented in SPM by junior software product managers after they take up their job. Results. Totally 133 different practices are identified related to SPM and are grouped in to their respective activities. Based on the findings a preliminary framework was designed for junior software product managers where they need to implement 22 concepts and these concepts are grouped into their respective activities which are Requirements Management, Release Planning, Product Planning, Product Roadmapping and Marketing. Conclusions. We conclude that the SPM frameworks identified through literature relate to each other and use similar activities. We also conclude that the frameworks identified from literature cover almost all of the activities implemented by software product managers during SPM when empirical research was conducted. The frameworks identified from literature don’t give a clear picture about what activities need to be focused by junior software product managers when implementing SPM. To overcome this, a preliminary framework was designed for junior software product managers based on the empirical evidence identified from interviews and survey. Moreover we conclude that a curriculum needs to be designed for SPM which clearly teaches junior software product managers regarding the activities and concepts involved in SPM and focusing more on the activities which need to be implemented by junior software product managers.

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