Day 8: Software Product Management Body of Knowledge (SPMBoK)

In our Day6, we had learn about the key areas of  Product Management and when it comes to IT sector, in today’s session, we will learn how these key areas are mapped with the various phases of a Software development lifecycle, irrespective of any phase the product is in, which we generally call as Software Product Management Body of Knowledge (SPMBoK).

Generally, a product is a combination of goods and services and a software product is one whose primary component is software. It compares to non-software products in terms of high complexity, negligible manufacturing cost, great flexibility, and a high rate of change. So, software product management means the management of software products and software parts of software-intensive products, i.e. systems or services. Software parts of software-intensive systems that are not marketed and priced as separate entities are called embedded software.

Software-intensive systems can be products from all industries like healthcare, manufacturing, retail and BFSI. Software-intensive services, often delivered as cloud or internet services, can also be products from all industries like financial, insurance, gaming, social software, or personal services based on software support.

A software product manager is responsible for managing software with the objective to achieve sustainable success over the life cycle of the software product. This generally refers to economic success, which is ultimately reflected by the profits generated. Software product managers have the business responsibility across different versions, variants and associated services of a product. They act as a “mini CEO”, i.e. they must manage a broad set of product-related activities, typically they have direct responsibility for “Product Strategy” and “Product Planning”. For the activities under “Strategic Management”, software product managers participate by representing their products on the corporate level, e.g. in portfolio management, by providing input and making use of the results. For the activities under “Development”, “Marketing”, “Sales and Distribution” and “Service and Support”, the direct responsibility is typically with other units in the company, but software product managers must orchestrate these activities such that they are performed in line with product strategy and plan. Given the broad set of responsibilities, prioritization is needed on an ongoing basis and can be based on the respective estimated impact on short- and long-term profitability.

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