Monday, June 20, 2011

CS615 Assignment 5 Solution 2011

Software Project Management
Assignment # 05
Spring 2011
                                                               Marks: 20
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Download the article “Bridging the gap between software product management
And software project management” from the following link:

Or login to your LMS and go to “Downloads” tag to download it.

After reading the articles you have to give answer to the following question:

Q.No.1 Based on the discussion in the given paper explain the relationship between project management and product management.

Note: write answer in your own words, copied from the given article or from friend will be awarded zero.



Bridging the gap between software product management 
and software project management 
Christina Manteli 
Department of Information and 
Computing Sciences 
PO Box 80.089, 3508TB Utrecht,  
The Netherlands 
Inge van de Weerd 
Department of Information and 
Computing Sciences 
PO Box 80.089, 3508TB Utrecht,  
The Netherlands 
Sjaak Brinkkemper 
Department of Information and 
Computing Sciences 
PO Box 80.089, 3508TB Utrecht,  
The Netherlands 

This  paper presents an empirical research to the relations and 
dependencies between the fields of software product management 
and software project management in product software companies. 
By carrying out interviews and an online survey, we answer 
several current business issues on the leadership roles of product 
and project managers within the organizational structure, and 
provide a definition of software products and software projects 
based on their dependencies. 
Software product management, software  project management, 
software development, product software 
Quite few attempts have been made so far [e.g. 1, 2, 3] to distinct 
between software product management and software project 
management. Within software product companies, both fields play 
a vital role in the organization and coordination of their activities 
and processes [4, 5]. The related activities and processes do not 
only deal with the development of the software product but also 
with the overall organization of the company's market strategy, 
the product portfolio management, the launch preparation of the 
product as well as the customers’ support and communication 
efforts before and after sales [6, 7, 8, 9]. 
The success of product management and project management 
activities is dependent on the way companies organize and 
coordinate software product management and software project 
management together [10]. Therefore, the main research question 
focuses on:  What is the relationship between software product 
management and software project management within the context 
of an independent software vendor?  The initial purpose is to 
formalize that relationship with the construction of a theoretical 
The research conducted is a theory-oriented research and it 
consists of two main parts; a theory-building (or exploratory) 
research and a theory testing research [11]. The theory building 
methodology is qualitative in nature and is based on a literature 
review of previous researches as well as on six semi-structured 
interviews among six Dutch software product companies. During 
the theory testing, a quantitative analysis is performed upon data 
that have been gathered through an online survey among 39 
respondents. The respondents were mainly project and product 
managers as well as product management experts.  
Combining the interviews and the survey, the research uses a 
data triangulation approach, which refers to the data evaluation 
through multiple sources of information [11]. This also addresses 
the problems of construct validity since the multiple sources of 
evidence provide essential measures of the same problem domain 
During the theory building part, the building blocks of the 
research are constructed. First, the definition of the scope of a 
software product and a software project will enable a more 
concrete examination of the relationships between these two 
terms. In order to examine the relationship between product 
managers and project managers, several aspects  that influence 
their collaboration should be taken into consideration.  
A software management framework that includes the 
aforementioned concepts is presented in Figure 1. To define the 
scope of the concepts, we broke down the overall aims (or 
requirements) of the product and the project into a number of 
smaller, more closely defined goals [13]. In addition, the role-
specific characteristics and role positioning of product managers 
and product managers are added. 

2.1  Results 
First, the participants were asked to indicate the degree of 
influence between the independent variables (time, quality, and 
cost) to the dependent variables (market success, customer 
satisfaction, and business goals). The overall means are 
summarized in Table 1. We can see that the respondents agree that 
quality has a higher influence on the market success of a software 
product and its customer satisfaction than time and budget 
(p=0.00). These factors can also be described as the external 

Permission to make digital or hard copies of all or part of this work for 
personal or classroom use is granted without fee provided that copies are 
not made or distributed for profit or commercial advantage and that 
copies bear this notice and the full citation on the first page. To copy 
otherwise, or republish, to post on servers or to redistribute to lists, 
requires prior specific permission and/or a fee. 
Conference’10, Month 1–2, 2010, City, State, Country. 
Copyright 2010 ACM 1-58113-000-0/00/0010…$10.00. 
 aspects of the software product and in general there seems to be a 
tendency in software product companies, to attribute more value 
on the delivered quality 
Table 1. Software product and software project results 
Market Success 
Time  Quality  Cost 
3.77  4.18  3.88  
Customer Satisfaction 
Time  Quality  Cost 
3.49  4.59  3.05 
Business Goals 
Time  Quality  Cost 
3.79  3.56  3.72 

Looking at the role-specific qualifications of product managers 
and project managers, we found several significant relations. First, 
the skills orientation of product and project managers within a 
software product company is related not only to the qualifications 
that characterize each one of the two roles but also to the 
communication between them. Based on the results of both the 
interviews and the online survey, there is a tendency for product 
managers to be more business oriented (focusing on managerial 
skills, communications and leadership qualifications) and for 
project managers to be more technical oriented (having a more in 
depth knowledge of software engineering and software 
Secondly, the results have also shown that the greater the gap 
between business and technical skills of the two roles, the less 
successful the communication between them within the company. 
This means that, despite the above skills orientation, both roles 
need to understand each other in order to communicate and work 
together in the most efficient way. Consequently, hat both product 
and project managers need to possess both business and technical 
In addition, the survey results showed that product managers are 
involved with significantly higher levels of decision-making 
(Strategic) whereas the project managers are more into the every 
day, and short-term decisions (Operational). Working together, 
both product and project managers are involved into the tactical 
decisions which concern a more mid-level spectrum of the 
organizational goals. This pattern seems to be perceived as a 
successful solution, which enables a better collaboration between 
product and project managers.   
Finally, the departmental positioning and the hierarchical 
relationship were examined not only as an organizational matter 
but also as a factor that can influence the relationship between 
product and project managers. It was suggested that the further 
apart the two roles are positioned, that is, the more levels in 
between both horizontally and vertically in the organizational 
structure, the greater the communication gap between them. 

Figure 1. Software Management Conceptual Model 
We answered the research question stated in Section 1 by 
decomposing it into two sub-problems: the relationship between 
product and projects and the relationship between product 
managers and project managers. In our survey, we identified 
several significant relations. However, we think a complementary 
and more detailed examination on the way product companies 
organize the internal and external activities that link their product 
management and project management processes is necessary. 
[1]  Clements, P. C., Jones, L. G., Northrop, L. M., and 
McGregor, J. D. 2005. Project Management in a Software 
Product Line Organization. IEEE Softw. 22, 5 (Sep. 2005), 
54-62. DOI= 
[2]  Barney, S., Aurum, A., and Wohlin, C. 2008. A product 
management challenge: Creating software product value 
through requirements selection. J. Syst. Archit. 54, 6 (Jun. 
2008), 576-593. DOI= 
[3]  Ebert, C. 2009. Software Product Management. Crosstalk, 
22, 1 (Jan. 2009), 15-19. 
[4]  Komssi, M., Kauppinen, M., Heiskari, J., and Ropponen, M. 
2009. Transforming a Software Product Company into a 
Service Business: Case Study at F-Secure. In Proceedings of 
the 2009 33rd Annual IEEE international Computer 
Software and Applications Conference - Volume 01 (July 20 
- 24, 2009). COMPSAC. IEEE Computer Society, 
Washington, DC, 61-66. DOI= 
[5]  Ebert, C. 2007. The impacts of software product 
management. J. Syst. Softw. 80, 6 (Jun. 2007), 850-861. 
[6]  van de Weerd, I., Brinkkemper, S., Nieuwenhuis, R., 
Versendaal, J., and Bijlsma, L. 2006. Towards a Reference 
Framework for Software Product Management. In 
Proceedings of the 14th IEEE international Requirements Engineering Conference (September 11 - 15, 2006). RE. 
IEEE Computer Society, Washington, DC, 319-322. 
[7]  Weerd, I. van de,  Brinkkemper, S., Versendaal, J. 
(forthcoming). Incremental method evolution in global 
software product management: A retrospective case study. 
/Accepted for publication in the Journal of Information & 
Software Technology 
[8]  Haines, S. 2009. The Product Manager's Desk Reference. 
McGraw Hill, New York. 
[9]  Kerzner, H. 2001. Project Management: A systems approach 
to Planning, Scheduling and Controlling. John Wiley & Sons 
[10] Gorchels, L. 2000. The Product Manager's Handbook: The 
Complete Product Management Resource. McGraw Hill 
[11] Dul. J., Hak, T. 2007. Case Study Methodology in Business 
Research. Elsevier Ltd.  
[12] Yin, R. 2003. Case Study Research: Design and Methods. 
SAGE Publications. 
[13] PMBOK Guide: A guide to the project management body of 
knowledge. 2006. Newtown Square, PA. Project 
Management Institute. 
[14] Manteli, C., Weerd, I. van de, Brinkkemper, S. 2010. An 
empirical research to the relationships between software 
product management and software project management. 
Technical report UU-CS-2010-004. Utrecht University. 


Solution IDEA Expand it in your own words

Software project refer to development of software product. On the other hand project and product closely related to each other. Product and project management are highly related to each other. Project Managers involved day to day decision making while product managers interact in high levels of decision making.  Software product management can be considered a relative young field, not only the academic environment where there is a considerable gap in researches on the particular topic, but also in the business field where software companies feel uncertain on the way software product management should be organized. Software product includes processes and activities that are concerned mostly with market trends, customer needs and internal company affairs, such as road mapping, business value etc. The project manager may want to keep scope as small as possible so that the projects is deliver on time and under budget. Product managers are business oriented while project managers are more technical.

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