Software Product Management Essentials   
A practical guide for small and mid-sized companies    
A practical guide for smalmid




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This book provides the new product manager several dozen tools and charts that they need to get them started. For experienced product managers, Dver offers some very interesting perspectives on processes that they might not have thought through completely. The style of the book is written as a good mentor, providing do's and don't within the context of each task definition. If you only have room for a few professional books, Software Product Management Essentials would be one to have on the shelf.
—Therese Padilla, Co-founder
Association of International Product Marketing and Management (AIPMM)

Product management professionals spend many years refining their craft and sharpening the tools of their trade. Software Product Management Essentials' emphasis on the importance of understanding key processes and the use of practical tools provides an essential head start for the on-time delivery of quality software products.
—Michael J. Salerno, President
Boston Product Management Association (

Software Product Management Essentials is unique in its focus on survival techniques for product managers at small- to mid-sized companies. As an added bonus, Alyssa Dver has not been afraid to demystify what it takes to be a successful international product manager. It is essential reading for any new product manager with international responsibilities.
—Rebecca Ray, Global Business Editor
The Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA)

A solid treatise on product management techniques and practices, the majority of which are applicable well beyond just software product management. This is a good reference book for product managers in any type of business to read and keep on their bookshelves.
—Bill Ausura, NPDP, President of the NY/NJ Chapter of the
Product Development and Management Association  
Product & Portfolio Professionals consulting. Former Director of Product Management and Product Marketing Practices, Lucent Technologies 

The perfect primer for the newbie, the required reference resource for the
pro—if you're a product manager, you must have this book.
—Cliff Conneighton, Chairman
Marketing Roundtable
Author, Venture Management Handbook

This book gets right to the point in helping product managers of smaller software companies understand what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how, to get their jobs done. It also lays the foundation for their professional development as they enable their companies to achieve marketplace success.
—Steven Haines, Founder and President
Sequent Learning Networks

The job of product management often appears overwhelming. Alyssa Dver's book helps the new product manager know where to begin and gives specific tools to make the new product manager productive quickly. Designed for small to mid-sized companies, Dver introduces the broad scope of product management in an easily readable format. The book also provides the most commonly used templates so that readers will not have to "reinvent the wheel." Software Product Management Essentials is filled with practical advice from an author who has clearly succeeded in the job. 
—Steve Johnson
Pragmatic Marketing (

This book very nicely bridges the gap between the important principles of product management and the very essential day-to-day tasks that practicing software product managers must accomplish.
—Shimon Shmueli, President
Washington DC Chapter of PDMA

In a crucial business and technical area such as Product Management, it is imperative that there are quality resources such as the book, Software Product Management Essentials. The book is an easy to read, hands-on look at the activities involved in being a successful product manager. Readers will truly appreciate the wisdom in the book to help make them efficient and effective. This is a must-read for any software product manager, new and old, who wants to ensure that they are doing the best possible job.
—Jacques Murphy, Editor
Product Management Challenges newsletter

While there are few things as uncommon as common sense, one of those is insight. Dver's work delivers both. Steeped in insight that can only be gained from the fire of front-line experience, Software Product Management Essentials belongs on the desk of everyone whose success depends on delivering software products with quality, efficiency and effectiveness.  
—Peter Fingar, Author 
The Death of 'E' and the Birth of the Real New Economy

Alyssa Dver's new book,
Software Product Management Essentials,  is a long-overdue compendium on one of the most important and misunderstood functions within any technology company. When JTBN adds Special Interest Groups (SIGs) this should be required reading for everyone regardless of functional area. Colleges should take note and offer a course based on this.
—Barbara Finer
Founder HTMP, Executive Committee 
Jewish Technology Business Network

Having been a CEO for many years at small and mid-sized software companies, I wish I could have provided to all my Product Managers such a source of information. Software Product Management Essentials provides an excellent set of processes, templates, and insights into the many aspects of product management. It will be a life saver for new Product Managers and even veteran Product Managers will find many helpful hints to make them more productive and effective.
—Marco A. Emrich, CEO & President
SEDONA Corporation

Dver makes it abundantly clear to her target readers that the path to market leadership begins with product management. The book gives product managers a great perspective on the persona, skills, and bandwidth required to keep the product management function in a leadership position within the organization.
—John Mansour, President
ZIGZAG Marketing

Software Product Management Essentials is a hands-on guide. Written from a day-in-the-life perspective, the book is loaded with tips, case studies, and methodologies for best practices. It is instrumental and informative especially for those new Product Managers in small to mid-sized companies, but also recommended for those considering the field, who are seeking a snapshot. It is useful for experienced Product Managers, as well.Critical topics include the product delivery process, beta testing, launching a software product, software pricing and the product manager's pinnacle role in these processes. Also covered, how Product Managers successfully expand their products to the global market. Numerous templates are provided to fast track the Product Manager's work including a sample non-disclosure agreement, product delivery checklist, beta test.
—Association for Women in Computing

Software Product Management Essentials: A practical guide for small and mid-sized companies by Alyssa S. Dver is one of those uncommon books that knows its audience and delivers on the title’s promise. It is a welcomed new book on the profession, containing a rich collection of product management wisdom: each chapter provides a compendium of what to consider before embarking on a product management task, be it requirements gathering, beta testing, or launching the product. Further, Dver’s delivers her insight in a remarkably light package of only 140 pages of text, an easy read for any cross-country flight.
    One of the book’s highlights is Dver’s explanation of the development process, managing requirements and the product delivery process. These three chapters comprise a full third of Software Product Management Essentials and present the reader with a full methodology. Dver outlines the Base Level Integration Process (BLIP). Product managers always balance three competing objectives: features, time to deliver, and quality. BLIP trades off features to remain on a regular and predictable release cycle with high quality. The BLIP cycles overlap, so as the integration phase of one cycle completes, the planning phase of the next cycle begins. A main benefit being that when a feature misses the current release, it can be scheduled for the next release in three to four months. Dver supplements this and the other sections with forty-three pages of templates in nine appendices making it easy for any reader to implement the author’s detailed framework. 
    The chapters on Product Launch, Product Marketing, and Pricing focus more on what than how to. They function almost as a checklist to ensure you have not missed anything in the process. But readers requiring in-depth explanation of these areas should consult texts devoted to those topics. Dver recommends a number of these texts at the end of the book under “Suggested Readings.”
    Software Product Management Essentials ends with a wonderful chapter on “Going International.” Dver demystifies the challenge of taking your product abroad. She covers the difference between Internationalization, Localization, and Globalization. In addition to explaining the engineering and design challenges, the author offers plenty of practical advice on how to distribute, market, sell, and support your product in overseas markets.
    Dver is a pithy writer, a rare trait among authors. Throughout the book, I wanted to read a case study or a short example from her professional experience. But true to the title, this book is about the essentials and does not waste words on stories to illustrate the lessons. Dver has created a handbook for product managers. There is no epilogue or conclusion. Each chapter stands on its own and is packed with an incredible amount of practical advice. For the novice product manager, Software Product Management Essentials is a great place to start. For the experienced product manager, it is a great reference text to review as you move through the development and release of your product. 
—Silicon Valley Product Management Association (SVPMA)

Alyssa's book accurately portrays the product management process used in small software companies.  It represents an excellent reference for both beginning product managers as well as 20 year veterans.   Product management, like most formal disciplines, has evolved its own set of theories, best practices, and tongue twisting acronyms.  Most of these are attempts to scientify [my word] common sense and any number of books can be found that will push one or another methodology.  Alyssa's is the first book I've seen that just tells you what to do.  Although she introduces the reader to various product management methodologies, she neither beats the reader over the head with these nor religiously follows any one.  She provides step-by-step processes that speak to the real life tasks that must be performed by a product manager and his/her team.  The book aptly illustrates that product management is merely a process, and not a very complex one at that.  What makes a great product manager is deep knowledge of the subject, attention to detail, excellent verbal and written communication skills, team building and leadership skills, an ability to manage time, and a strong affinity for quality results.  In short, ownership of the product and the process.  Excellent read.
Carl Lambert, Director of Product Management
Timetrade Systems, Inc.

From reviewers:

5 out of 5 starsPractical, Concise, Excellent Appendix, June 15, 2003


Reviewer: A reader from New Zealand

This book is easy to read i.e. it's written in plain English. It offers practical advice and the Appendix items are spot on. If only this book had been published 2-3 years ago.

5 out of 5 starsinsightful - more than generalizations, May 21, 2003


Reviewer: A reader from Newton, MA United States

While suspicious of product management books, a friend recommended this one, and I loved it. Plenty of details and specifics, this is a hands on book for folks that have a tough job. I've managed many projects, and am really intrigued by many of the suggestions - best practices - described in this book. A very worthwhile read.

5 out of 5 starsA necessary purchase for software marketers, August 7, 2003


Reviewer: Ruby Greenfield from New York

Software Product Marketing Essentials is wonderful book for anyone involved in software marketing. I've read the book thoroughly and appreciate the no nonsense, hands on advice and information it contained. Highly recommended.


5 out of 5 starsYou have to read this book! April 30, 2003


Reviewer: Michelle Brown from Limerick, PA USA

Excellent book. As an experienced product manager at a small software company, I found this book very practical and a great resource. The author gives great advice and tips that I haven't had time to consider. The book is very easy to read and it is quite evident that the author is an expert in product management.

  5 out of 5 starssoftware product management essentials, April 30, 2003


Reviewer: rachel cohen from Sarasota, Florida

At last, a clear explanation of this often complex subject matter. Brava, Ms Dver, for proving that with a little patience and understanding and a good book, one can be an effective and productive manager.

5 out of 5 starsOutstanding resource, April 27, 2003


Reviewer: A reader from Framingham, MA United States

This book is chuck full of tips, templates and overall great advice. It is definitely a must-have resource for any software product manager. The numerous professional endorsements back up the fact that Dver has deep expertise in the subject and is able to deliver a clearly written explanation of complex processes to make the job of product manager as easy and efficient as possible. Excellent book and something I wish I had sooner in my career

5 out of 5 starsA must have book, April 25, 2003


Reviewer: Gail Wertheimer from Framingham, MA United States

Software Product Management Essentials is a fundamental guide to successful product management. This book gets right to the point in helping Product Managers of smaller to mid-sized software companies understand what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how to get it done. It's a must have resource for every software product manager.

5 out of 5 starsThis book is indispensable! April 24, 2003


Reviewer: Jennifer L Tuttelman from Boston, MA

I wish that there were a college course offered, which used this book as a template when I went to school! This book will surely be a "must have" for product management professionals for years to come. I recommend this book very highly!



From Barnes & Noble Reviewers:


A reviewer, a new product manager, May 13, 2003, 5 out of 5 stars
Excellent guide
This book provides extremely insightful information on software product management. It is loaded with tips and templates that both the new and experienced product manager can really use to be productive in their work. It will save me a lot of trial and error as a new PM and I appreciate the years of wisdom that Dver shares in this book. Easy to read and a great reference. Glad to recommend it to others.

A reviewer, A reviewer, May 1, 2003, 5 out of 5 stars
A must have book
Software Product Management Essentials is a fundamental guide to successful product management. This book gets right to the point in helping Product Managers of smaller to mid-sized software companies understand what they need to do, when they need to do it, and how to get it done. It's a must have resource for every software product manager.






Endorsed by:

Assoc. of International Product Marketing & Mgmt. (AIPMM)

The Boston Product Management Association (BPMA)

The Silicon Valley Product Management Assoc. (SVPMA)

The Marketing Roundtable

The NY/NJ Chapter of the Product Development &Management Association (PDMA)

The Washington DC Chapter of PDMA

The Product Management Challenges Newsletter

The Jewish Technology Business Network

The Localization Industry Standards Association (LISA)

The Association for Women in Technology (AWC)

Pragmatic Marketing

Sequent Learning Networks

ZigZag Marketing



Bentley College


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