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To be or not to be a software product manager?: What is the product manager's responsibility and accountability in software companies?
Karlstad University, Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences (starting 2013), Karlstad Business School.
2016 (English)Independent thesis Advanced level (degree of Master (One Year)), 10 credits / 15 HE creditsStudent thesis
Abstract [en]

Business success in software industry is about deploying a product to the right market, with the right features, in the right time with a good quality. Many development projects exceed the budget, is not completed within schedule or do not reach business objectives.

One key role managing the business of the product is the software product manager. The software product manager role is though seldom clearly described, competence needed is not always clear and education to become a product manager is today only offered by separate courses provided by some few private initiatives.

This thesis uses a qualitative descriptive approach, the purpose with this thesis is to produce further knowledge around the software product manager role. The clarification and structure of the software product manager role is limited in academia; therefore, this research will be combined with an exploratory approach to be able to verify the empirical findings. The thesis also includes observations and data collection from actual job applications to further define the requested competences of a software product manager.

This thesis has found that domain competence is the top most important competence for a software product manager. To be able to make success in the role communication skills and analytic skills are most important. The right soft skills are as important as the educated competences.

The thesis conclude that the product manager role is wide and it is important to be surrounded with colleagues that support the role were there are lacking of competence in technology, business or market expertise. A successful product manager build network among people, cross-functional teams, around the product and establish an effective way to communicate with those groups.

Findings suggest that software companies define the responsibilities and expectations of the product manager role. As important is to support the product manager with the input data needed to be able to perform the product manager activities. By defining the responsibilities and securing the input data needed, the product manager will have a higher probability to produce a result with an impact.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2016. , 89 p.
Keyword [en]
Product management, Software product management, Product manager, Software product manager, Leadership in software development, Product governance, Software development, Product life-cycle
National Category
Information Systems
URN: urn:nbn:se:kau:diva-43775Local ID: 64OAI: diva2:944672
Subject / course
Information Systems
Available from: 2016-06-30 Created: 2016-06-29 Last updated: 2016-06-30Bibliographically approved

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