Framework for Implementing Product Portfolio Management in Software Business

  • Erik Jagroep
  • Inge van de Weerd
  • Sjaak Brinkkemper
  • Ton Dobbe


Whether a software product company takes up a project depends on the strategic decisions that are made with regard to an organization’s products. A software project needs to fit strategic goals and enable an organization to realize a vision through its software products. Making decisions on a strategic level, however, requires information of several related topics including technological trends and the product’s life cycle and surpasses the scope of an individual software project. Instead, these decisions are made on the level of the product portfolio. Product Portfolio Management (PPM) holds that an organization has to manage investment decisions over time following profit and risk criteria. Given the multitude of relevant topics and the interrelatedness between these topics, it has proven difficult to implement PPM processes in software businesses. To this end, we created the Portfolio Implementation Framework (PIF) consisting of (a) a competence model, giving an overview of the critical topics; (b) process-deliverable diagrams, which provide an implementation path for product portfolio management processes; and (c) a maturity matrix that comprises 32 capabilities, which should be realized during implementation. The maturity matrix also serves as an instrument for industry to assess, compare and improve portfolio management processes across organizations. The framework provides a holistic view on a step-by-step PPM process implementation and has proved its applicability in practice.


Focus Area Maturity Level Portfolio Management Competence Model Product Portfolio 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.



We would like to thank all (strategic) product managers within the two Dutch software organizations for their cooperation with the interviews and the experts who have participated in the evaluation of the framework. Furthermore, we want to thank the organizers, reviewers and participants of the 5th International Workshop on Software Product Management for their suggestions and remarks.


  1. Batenburg R, Helms RW, Versendaal J (2006) PLM roadmap: stepwise implementation based on the concepts of maturity and alignment. Int J Prod Lifecycle Manage 1:333–351CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  2. Bekkers W, Weerd I van de, Spruit M, Brinkkemper S (2010) A framework for process improvement in software product management. Commun Comput Info Sci 99:1–12Google Scholar
  3. Charmaz K (2006) Constructing grounded theory: a practical guide through qualitative analysis. SAGE, LondonGoogle Scholar
  4. Cooper RG, Edgett SJ (2008) Maximizing productivity in product innovation. Res Technol Manage 51:47–58Google Scholar
  5. Cooper RG, Edgett SJ (2010) Developing a product innovation and technology strategy for your business. Res Technol Manage 53:33–40Google Scholar
  6. Cooper RG, Edgett SJ, Kleinschmidt EJ (2001) Portfolio management for new product development: results of an industry practices study. In: R&D management, Blackwell Publishers Ltd, pp 361–380Google Scholar
  7. Cooper RG, Edgett SJ, Kleinschmidt EJ (2002) Portfolio management: fundamental to new product success. In: Belliveau P, Griffin A, Somermeyer S (eds) The PDMA ToolBook 1 for new product development, 1st edn. Wiley, New York, pp 331–364Google Scholar
  8. de Reyck B, Grushka-Cockayne Y, Lockett M, Calderini SR, Moura M, Sloper A (2005) The impact of project portfolio management on information technology projects. Int J Project Manage 23:524–537CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Denzin NK, Lincoln YS (2011) Handbook of qualitative research. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar
  10. Ebert C (2007) The impacts of software product management. J Syst Softw 80:850–861CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  11. Eisenhardt KM, Martin JA (2000) Dynamic capabilities: what are they? Strateg Manage J 21:1105–1121CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  12. Fricker S, Gorschek T, Byman C, Schmidle A (2009) Handshaking: negotiate to provoke the right understanding of requirements. IEEE Software 99Google Scholar
  13. Hevner AR, March ST, Park J, Ram S (2004) Design science in information systems research. MIS Q 28:75–105Google Scholar
  14. Higgins JM (1985) Strategy formulation implementation and control. Dryden Press, New YorkGoogle Scholar
  15. Jagroep E, Weerd I van de, Brinkkemper S, Dobbe T (2011a) Software product portfolio management: towards improvement of current practice. Accessed 25 March 2012
  16. Jagroep E, Weerd I van de, Brinkkemper S, Dobbe T (2011b) Implementing software product portfolio management. In: Paper presented at the 5th international workshop on software product management, University of Trento, Trento, 30–30 August 2011Google Scholar
  17. Jansen S, Finkelstein A, Brinkkemper S (2009) A sense of community: a research agenda for software ecosystems. Presented at the 31st international conference on software engineering, Vancouver, May 16–24Google Scholar
  18. Killen CP, Hunt RA, Kleinschmidt EJ (2008) Project portfolio management for product innovation. Int J Qual Reliab Manage 25:24–38CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  19. Kittlaus HB, Clough P (2006) Software product management and pricing: key success factors for software organizations. Springer, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  20. Lee SG, Ma YS, Thimm GL, Verstraeten J (2007) Product life-cycle management in aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul. Comput Ind 59:296–303CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. McNally RC, Durmusoglu SS, Calantone RJ, Harmancioglu N (2009) Exploring new product portfolio management decisions: the role of managers’ dispositional traits. Ind Mark Manage 38:127–143CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Pfeffers K, Tuunanen T, Rothenberger MA, Chatterjee S (2007) A design science research methodology for information systems research. J Manage Info Syst 24:45–77CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  23. Rajegopal S, McGuin P, Waller P (2007) Project portfolio management. Palgrave McMillan, HampshireCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Runeson P, Höst M (2009) Guidelines for conducting and reporting case study research in software engineering. Empir Softw Eng 14:131–164CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  25. Saaksvuori A, Immonen A (2008) Product lifecycle management. Springer, BerlinCrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. Stantchev V, Franke MR, Discher A (2009) Project portfolio management systems: business services and web services. In: Perry M, Sasaki H, Ehmann M. Bellot GO, Dini O (eds) Proceedings of the 4th international conference on internet and web applications and services, Venice/Mestre, 2009Google Scholar
  27. Steenbergen M van, Bos R, Binkkemper S, van de Weerd I, Bekkers W (2010) The design of focus area maturity models. In: Winter R, Zhao JL, Aier S (eds) Global perspectives on design science research. Lecture Notes in Computer Science, vol 6105. Springer, Heidelberg, p 317Google Scholar
  28. Takeda H, Veerkamp P, Tomiyama T, Yoshikawam H (1990) Modeling design processes. AI Magazine 11:37–48Google Scholar
  29. Teece DJ, Pisano G, Shuen A (1997) Dynamic capabilities and strategic management. Strateg Manag J 18:509–533CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Vaishnavi V, Kuechler W (2004) Design research in information systems. Association for information systems. Accessed 31 January 2011
  31. Vischer M, Boutellier R, Breitenmoser P (2010) Implementation of a gatekeeper structure for business and technology intelligence. Int J Technol Intell Plan 6:111–127CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  32. Ward J, Peppard J (2006) Strategic planning for information systems. Wiley, West SussexGoogle Scholar
  33. Weerd I van de, Brinkkemper S (2008) Meta-modeling for situational analysis and design methods. In: Syed MR, Syed SN (eds) Handbook of research on modern systems analysis and design technologies and application. Idea Group Publishing, Hersey, PA, pp 38–58Google Scholar
  34. Weerd I van de (2009) Advancing in software product management: an incremental method engineering approach. Dissertation, Utrecht UniversityGoogle Scholar
  35. Weerd I van de, Versendaal J, Brinkkemper S (2006) A product software knowledge infrastructure for situational capability maturation: Vision and case studies in product management. Accessed 25 March 2011
  36. Wind Y (1975) Product portfolio analysis: a new approach to the product mix decision. Wharton University of Pennsylvania. Accessed 20 May 2010
  37. Yin RK (2009) Case study research: design and methods. Sage, Thousand Oaks, CAGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  • Erik Jagroep
    • 1
  • Inge van de Weerd
    • 2
  • Sjaak Brinkkemper
    • 1
  • Ton Dobbe
    • 3
  1. 1.Department of lnformation and Computing SciencesUtrecht UniversityUtrechtThe Netherlands
  2. 2.Department of lnformation, Logistics and lnnovationVU University AmsterdamAmsterdamThe Netherlands
  3. 3.UNIT4SliedrechtThe Netherlands

Personalised recommendations