Advancing the Competences of Product Management: Benchmarks and Experiences by Sjaak Brinkkemper (Utrecht University)
Product management is becoming a well-accepted role in the software industry. Being one of the major forces of the success of a product, the product manager is responsible for managing all requirements, the release planning, the roadmap, and the lifecycle decision making.
At Utrecht University we have developed two product management tools: the so-called Competence Framework and the Maturity measurement tool for Software Product Management (see www.softwareproductmanagement.org). The Competence Framework organizes process knowledge and tooling for the product manager, and sets the scope for the collaboration with the internal stakeholders in the company. Over the years we have trained hundreds of product managers in the Competence Framework. We will present the Competence Framework and we discuss opportunities for product manager to manage their products better. The Maturity Matrix is a means to assess the current capability of product management, plus it identifies opportunities for process improvement. We report about the benchmarks obtained from 160 maturity assessments conducted so far in the software industry. Furthermore, we discuss our extensive experiences on the role of product managers with Scrum and DevOps, and the dilemmas of the product manager versus the product owner.
Technology has changed the way people develop products, conduct business, and create opportunities. This has led to the point where only delivering a good functioning product is not sufficient to satisfy market demands. To be able to properly compete, companies must deliver great functionality and great user experience in their products or services. UX has become a buzzword that is often seen as a magical black box to solve these issues. But does UX truly mean? What are the best practices? Why do we need it? What can it offer the field of software product development? How can UX help you get the most out of your products?
SPM Orchestration: Experience Exchange on Challenges and Best Practice by Andreas Birk (Software.Process.Management)
Software product managers must often lead in complex situations without exerting direct authority or control. The function of SPM Orchestration, as coined in ISPMA’s SPM Framework, includes a rich yet open collection of instruments for these situations.
But how are these instruments applied effectively in the various settings of a software product manager’s daily life? This Deed Dive Workshop will provide a forum for intense and fruitful experience exchange of software product managers. A structured discussion format (Lean Coffee), along with a crisp introduction and prepared lightning talks, allows participants to set their own agenda and receive optimum outcomes for their specific questions of interest.
The Politics of Product Portfolios: Managing Stakeholders to Get the Right Things Done by Rich Mironov (Silicon Valley)
Product managers spend tremendous energy/time in product planning: developing product strategies, ranking features, defining releases, and managing backlogs. But our internal stakeholders rarely agree on with each other – or with us – about priorities or trade-offs. We often change our priorities to satisfy internal stakeholders rather than external customer markets. How do we understand stakeholder behavior and get more of the right thinks into our releases?
Paradigm Shift from Waterfall to Agile Methodology - Impact on the Role of Product Manager by Pierre Blum (SWIFT)
Product Management role has evolved with the paradigm shift from Waterfall to Agile methodology approach in the software development industry. Two different roles which are requiring specific skills have really emerged with (1) Product Manager delivery - focussing on the relation with IT and (2) Product Manager Commercial - focussing on the relation with Sales and owing the P&L. During this session, Pierre Blum, head of Software Product Management at SWIFT will share his experience on how the split has been done.
Highlighting the significance of the Product Roadmap as a key aspect of product success from both the Product Marketing as well as Product Definition dimensions, this session addresses the practical aspects of creating updating and communicating the roadmap. I will clearly demonstrate the value the Product Roadmap creates as well as how to craft one a structured practical approach. A step by step set of best practices that are the essential makeup of a good roadmap are highlighted.
Watching the trends, Intelligent Automation is here to stay! What will the world look like? In this workshop you will be active in teams, creating possible scenarios including Intelligent Automation, using our given methodology. You will also learn what scenarios other teams foresee.
For decades components of the Microsoft Office Suite dominated the tools used for planning and monitoring product development. And they still continue to do so in most cases. For example painting roadmaps with PowerPoint allows many degrees of freedom and therefore is pretty convenient. Well established and more rigourous tools like requirements management and agile planning tools have expanded their scope to higher level planning levels in the last decade. Some of them allow to create and manage roadmaps for products with detailed planning information underneath. In recent years however a new category of tools emerged. They directly target the needs of product managers. Those tools support specifically business planning, user research, roadmapping, agile planning, and execution. Product manager need to understand what kind of benefits are provided by those different tools and how to leverage them in their multi-faceted jobs. The session will provide insights about various tool offerings. Examples are taken from Strategyzer, Aha!, UserVoice, Version One, Jama, JIRA, Trello and others.
Assessing Business Impact: Business Case Development for Product Managers by Greg Prickril (Prickril Consulting)
Although a large body of knowledge exists regarding business cases, much of the material addresses project portfolio management or startup pitches. Business cases for long-lived products in a product organization require a different perspective and in many cases, a different process for business case creation and even different content. In this presentation, Greg will outline the motivation, process and content required to make compelling business cases for products, particularly products that are part of a large portfolio.
Portfolio management is about allocating resources among competing investment proposals, e.g. among all requests for funding initiatives within a business unit. However, when competing in fast-moving, constantly changing markets, as many software products do, portfolio management serves a second purpose: it becomes an important tool for innovation management.
Cyber attacks are becoming commonplace and a weapon that might be used even by your competitors. Cyber attacks do not only target big corporations. Today, more than 60% of the companies suffering from attacks are small and medium enterprises (SMEs). SMEs tend to lack training and do not have the means deployed to fight cybercrime. This situation is problematic because customers and individuals get exposed by compromised digital products, and as a vendor, you risk uncomfortable litigations. In this talk, we introduce four SMEs, Worldsensing, GridPocket, Scytl, and a startup from the University of Patras, their challenges, what they learned, and how they now harden their digital products. By participating in this talk, you will benefit from the SMEs' stories and the consolidated experience of the cybersecurity leaders Atos, Citrix, IBM, and Bitdefender who joined us in making cybersecurity so lightweight that even startups and small companies can embrace and utilize it to their business advantage.
Agile, Lean, SAFe, MVP, You Name It – How to Avoid Being A Fashion Victim? by Hans-Bernd Kittlaus (InnoTivum)
With all the hype in the software world about methodologies and techniques, it is tempting to be hip and jump on what’s hot. But does that always make sense for the product and the organization? Are there any decision criteria? Are there more fundamental trends and developments beyond the latest fad? How can you as a software product manager find your way in the jungle?
Agile approaches to software requirements are often focused on team level, or they are part of relatively complex methodological frameworks. This How-To-Session provides software product managers with a coherent essential requirements process on the levels of product and product line. In a highly interactive session, including a scenario-based case study, participants receive the tools for effective product requirements management.
It’s common sense that products need to satisfy customers expectations and needs. But how to know about those? It’s natural to sit with your first 5 customers, but how to manage the customer engagement with a growing number of customers, growing number of products, customers in all regions of the world? The sessions describes how SAPs approach for engaging with customers matured over time, into a systematic approach for involving customers in strategic discussions and development of new products / product versions, as well as feeding experience from usage of the software back into product improvements. Legal aspects are covered, as well as newest processes to cope with challenges from Cloud customers.
Dr. Guido Menkhaus, Dr. Heinz Haefner – SAP SE
The Product Soundtrack® – succeeding with Product Management in B2B environments by Magnus Billgren (Tolpagorni)
The Product Sound Track™ Session gives you hands-on guidance in how to manage products and drive toward success. It will give you a new perspective on Product Management and how you create a number 1 hit. It will get you geared up for the challenging and changing world with a Product Sound Track™ - creating a journey to believe in.
Platform-based Business Models for Non-IT Companies from a Software Product Management Perspective by Prof. Dr. Georg Herzwurm (University of Stuttgart)
Due to the development of new technologies and the increasing connectivity of manufacturing, non-it sectors face new challenges. An increasing amount of software-based components also affects the revenue distribution between the product-based and digital revenues. Hence, today´s non-it companies have to face it-related challenges and thus require software product management. In particular, platforms could enable
customers and partners to be involved in value creation more closely. Platforms are no longer indispensable in different fields, e.g. mobile devices, connected cars or enterprise software. This development is also expected for manufacturing companies in Europe.
That is why platforms become more and more important for non-it companies, as the production no longer stops at the company´s borders.
Developing and enhancing a software product is a race against the clock. Companies have used Lean Startup as a method to offer a product that is wanted fast and with a return on investment that is substantially larger than if waiting for perfection. With Lean Startup, companies engage in a rapid series of innovation experiments, where hypotheses about customers are developed and tested to achieve a good product-market fit. In this World Café session, we would like to understand how companies are doing innovation experiments. We will structure the World Café conversations with the questions of when to do innovation experiments (and when not), with whom to do innovation experiments (and with whom not), how to test hypotheses (and how to discover them), and how to measure and improve the performance of innovation experiments. As a participant, I will benefit from the rich experience exchange that results from the World Café conversations and will be able to bring home the collective advice that will be documented visually by each conversation leader.
We would like to think of Product Management as a scientific process. A process that relies on facts and data, empirical observations of real world phenomena and rational analysis. Product Management is at the heart of every innovation effort, but one of the challenges around innovation is turning it from an idea into reality and still keep the innovation focused and useful.
Building a framework-based product management job architecture by Greg Prickril (Prickril Consulting)
Defining the right product management roles and advancement path is critical to building a high-performance product management organization. Here used the ISPMA framework to define a comprehensive approach to defining job descriptions, a competency model and a job architecture.
Over the past years it has become clear that the future of work is remote. As the workplace change, it will also change the work of the product manager as we need to adapt to a world where we might not be in the same room as our stakeholders and developers when making hard decisions and communicating the product strategy. This how-to-session will provide you with tools and tricks to improve remote communication as a product manager.
Design Thinking is a method for addressing complex problems and finding innovative solutions. It is a structured iterative method that could be applied in startups as well as in enterprises to gain more understanding of user problems and validate potential solutions. More and more companies integrate Design Thinking into their product development to achieve customer focus and bring desirable, viable and feasible products into the market.
Keeping Users in the Business Application by Embedding Analytics by Tom Cahill and Adrian Randle (LogiAnalytics)
Leveraging existing, standard technologies, this workshop is designed to illustrate to product managers how to embed powerful analytics at the core of the application, thereby keeping users in the app for longer. Specifically designed with the needs of Software Product Managers in mind, the Logi Platform will be demonstrated, context will be provided and licensing and pricing models explained.
Impact Mapping is a tool for Agile release planning.
It can help:
- mapping every epic and activity to overall product strategy
- setting the priorities
- adapting roadmap and plans during execution
I will describe how we've implemented Impact Mapping for quarter planning of Yandex Realty product (one of largest classified for realty in Russia), explain benefits and difficulties.
A practitioners’ view of the opportunities and challenges of large and small product
companies: Small and large software product companies differ on multiple factors like
funding/investments, process maturity, vintage of the product suite, depth and width of
competencies, business / numbers’ rigor, customer base etc. However, there surely are many good software product management practices which are worth learning from each other. This session is to explore some of these from a business leader / practitioner’s point of view.
The increase of competition in the Industrial world forces a change in the way we do business. It has a major impact on all communication with our customers. In addition, the customer behavior is changing. They look for a new type of cooperation with their partners. The product is still core but we need to define and discover the true value in our deliveries. So how do you as a Product Manager make sure you define and communicate the TRUE VALUES of your product offering to your customers?
Customer Journey Mapping is a tool that is typically related to service design or usability topics. However, as business models around software products evolve to include more service offerings, and human-centric design becomes the norm in the software industry, journey maps are steadily entering the toolbox of Product Managers to enable them gather insight of the end-to-end persona experience, and plan targeted product enhancements to improve it.
A different animal - Establishing a software product business in a professional service organization by Jürgen Lux (Bearingpoint)
Establishing a software product business in a professional service and consulting organization is always a significant challenge. Business models, KPIs, incentive systems, role definitions, processes, culture – all need to be different if the product business is to succeed. BearingPoint is in the middle of this change process. This is a report on achievements and challenges.
Blue Ocean Strategy for Radically Innovating Software Products by Katharina Peine (highQ Computerlösungen)
The software product manager needs to manage the product to achieve sustainable profits. Especially in a fast-paced environment such as the software industry, it is necessary to differentiate significantly from competition. The Blue Ocean Strategy is a model to shape market boundaries or even create new markets by changing the product definition and value proposition. It provides a conceptual framework and as well a 7 Step Method how to approach this (see Kim and Mauborgne (2017): Blue Ocean Shift). This presentation provides a brief introduction in Blue Ocean Strategy and the 7 Step Framework to support the software product manager coming up with radically product innovations.
The new EU data protection regulation and its impact on software organizations by Marc Hilber (Oppenhof & Partner)
The presentation will provide an overview of the regulations of the EU's General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) relevant for companies and put a particular focus on new developments for software-as-a-service offerings and new regulations for software (privacy by design and privacy by default).