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Software Development and Product Management


Admission requirements

Not applicable


ICT developments face increasing complexity. Technological challenges, combined with managerial and organisational issues, cause failure to a vast number of software development initiatives. The past decades, the earlier mentioned complexity has dominantly been managed by the application of project management methods and techniques. In recent years, the attention is shifting to product management philosophies/frameworks like Agile/Scrum.
The lecture-based part of this course has been built on two pillars:
1. Software Product Management. How to manage software products during their complete life cycle, such that they generate the expected revenue and, as assets, represent the company's sustainable value. This area includes topics, like: Product Strategy, Product planning and Strategic Management.
2. Software Product Development. How to manage the development of software products from idea to release in the market. This includes the systems development life cycle and approaches to software development techniques like project management and Scrum. Overarching concepts like quality management, scheduling, budgeting, risk management, and the management of user expectations and involvement are discussed as well.

The practical part of the course, provides an opportunity to experience and apply the issues and techniques discussed in the course.

Course objectives

After completing this course, students are able to:

  • put software product management and -development concepts into practice and apply the techniques involved;

  • initiate a software development initiative in line with the principles of being successful in the ICT business;

  • present their software product proposition to external stakeholders.


You will find the timetables for all courses and degree programmes of Leiden University in the tool MyTimetable (login). Any teaching activities that you have sucessfully registered for in MyStudyMap will automatically be displayed in MyTimeTable. Any timetables that you add manually, will be saved and automatically displayed the next time you sign in.

MyTimetable allows you to integrate your timetable with your calendar apps such as Outlook, Google Calendar, Apple Calendar and other calendar apps on your smartphone. Any timetable changes will be automatically synced with your calendar. If you wish, you can also receive an email notification of the change. You can turn notifications on in ‘Settings’ (after login).

For more information, watch the video or go the the 'help-page' in MyTimetable. Please note: Joint Degree students Leiden/Delft have to merge their two different timetables into one. This video explains how to do this.

Mode of instruction

The course is structured around two main building blocks:
1. Twelve theory sessions, including in-class reading and case study assignments
2. An assignment which is aimed at creating a Software Product Proposition, to be carried out in pre-assigned groups of about 5 students.

Assessment method

A) Written exam
It will be based on materials covered during lectures and assigned readings or handouts. It is a closed book, closed notes exam.

B) Group assignment
Your assignment is to create a Software Product Proposition (SDP).
The SDP needs to cover the following topics:
1. Vision
2. Definition
3. (Market) Positioning
4. Business view/-case

C) Individual assignments
The individual assignments are mandatory and will require you to apply certain techniques in the area of project planning and -control.

Your total grade for this course will be based on the following:

  • 30% written exam with open and multiple-choice questions [individual].

  • 60% Software Product Proposition [group]

  • 10% Individual assignments [group]
    To pass the course, the grade of the written exam has to be at least 5.0

The teacher will inform the students how the inspection of and follow-up discussion of the exams will take place.

Reading list

Title: Software Product Management, 2nd edition
Author: Hans-Bernd Kittlaus
ISBN: 978-3-662-65115-5

Title: Some of the Better Practices of Project Management
Author: John Hermarij
ISBN: 9789491009006
The syllabus can be ordered at

The purchase and use of both the book and the syllabus are mandatory.


Every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. Please see this page for more information.

Please note that it is compulsory to both preregister and confirm your participation for every exam and retake. Not being registered for a course means that you are not allowed to participate in the final exam of the course. Confirming your exam participation is possible until ten days before the exam.

Extensive FAQ's on MyStudymap can be found here.


Programme Co-ordinator: ms. Esme Caubo


Also register for every course in Brightspace. Important information about the course is posted here.

There is only limited capacity for external students. Please contact the programme Co-ordinator