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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 development initiatives. Until now, the earlier mentioned complexity is dominantly 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 development process, including the systems development life cycle, alternative approaches to software development, techniques for project management, and critical success factors. Concepts related to quality management, the capability maturity model, financial evaluation, 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 have a firm grasp of the project- and product management concepts, approaches and techniques supporting the execution of ICT developments.
In addition, the students will get some insight into the subtleties of running an IT-enterprise and the fundamental principles of being successful in business.


The schedule can be found on the Leiden University student website

Detailed table of contents can be found in blackboard.

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 ambitious, practical systems development project, to be carried out in pre-assigned groups of about 6 students.

Assessment method

Written exam
It will be based on materials covered during class and assigned readings or handouts. It is a closed book, closed notes exam.
Your assignment is to propose, plan, calculate, manage, and execute towards a (very basic) prototype, a software development project in a specific, pre-assigned area.
You will present your working system and the underlying architecture in a ‘trade-fair’ at the end of the semester and will be graded on a variety of aspects.
You will be graded on how well your group does, how cooperative and informative your group is for the other groups in the trade fair, and how impressed attendees of the ‘trade fair’ are with your collective effort.
Your total grade for this course will be based on the following:

  • 25% detailed project plan plus functional specifications [group]

  • 65% written exam [individual].

  • 10% project presentation at trade fair [group]
    To pass the course:

  1. every component must be graded with 5.0 or higher.
  2. the average of all components has to be at least 5.5.



Reading list

Bob Hughes and Mike Cotterell (2009): Software Project Management, McGraw-Hill
Further reading assignments are provided online through blackboard. Additional reading assignments may be added as the course progresses, and will be made available through blackboard.

Signing up for classes and exams

You have to sign up for classes and examinations (including resits) in uSis. Check this link for more information and activity codes.

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

Contact information

Programme Co-ordinator: ms. Esme Caubo


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