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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 focuses on the management of the software product development process, including 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

Upon completion of the course, students will be able to put software product management and -development concepts into practice and apply the techniques involved. In addition, the students will master the fundamentals of starting up a software development initiative in line with the principles of being successful in the ICT business.


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 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 development plan, to be carried out in pre-assigned groups of about 6 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 Product Development Plan (PDP).
The PDP needs to cover the following topics:
1. Product proposition
2. Product development and implementation strategy.
3. Test and implementation plan tuned to your method as described under (2)

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

  • 60% written exam with open and multiple-choice questions [individual].

  • 30% product development plan [group]

  • 10% final project/product presentation [group]
    To pass the course:

  1. The grade of the written exam has to be at least 5.0
  2. The PDP-assignment and the final presentation must be graded with 5.5 or higher.

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
Authors: Hans-Bernd Kittlaus, Samuel A. Fricker
ISBN: 978-3-642-55139-0

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.


From the academic year 2022-2023 on every student has to register for courses with the new enrollment tool MyStudyMap. There are two registration periods per year: registration for the fall semester opens in July and registration for the spring semester opens in December. 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