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Course Introduction


Wednesday, August 30, 2017  [SPECIAL DATE THIS ONE TIME ONLY!]
3:30 - 5:30 
Hawes 203

We'll do three things. First, we'll use an example to consider the attributes of great and flawed software products. Next, we will discuss the course's learning objectives, structure, and requirements. Finally, students will briefly describe their projects in order to facilitate team assembly and to help everyone get acquainted.

Required Reading

  1. Mind the Product - An interview podcast with Martin Eriksson

  2. Product Manager, You Are… A Janitor, Essentially - Mat Balez

  3. Visit the Product Management reading list on Prof. Eisenmann's blog.


Recommended Reading

  1. Ken Norton (our guest on September 25) has a great reading list here 

  2. Good posts on the PM role:



For each individual:

  1. On a 1-2 page document, compose a short list of the attributes of excellent software products and evaluate that list against one of the following products:

  1.  Make two suggestions for improving the product you chose to evaluate.

  2.  Optional: try sketching your improvement ideas. Include photos of any sketches -- however rough -- in the document or as supplemental links in the Assignment Master.


We will use the PM101 Assignment Master (Links to an external site.)Links to an external site. for all key deliverables for the course. The sheet has a dated tab for each course session. Find the “Aug 30 - Course Intro” assignment tab and post a link to your document (Google-doc or PDF from a shared repository like Dropbox, Google Drive, etc.) by 5 pm on Tuesday, August 29.

Please remember to set Comment Access ON for Prof. Austin and Keith Hopper. View-Access only setting on your documents is optional for your fellow classmates.

Note: Students working in teams should complete this assignment individually, not as a team. PM101 will regularly require the submission of small assignments like this in advance of our class sessions. These submissions will count toward your course grade.


  1. Each student should be prepared to discuss the attributes of excellent products and their evaluation of the product they selected, along with suggested improvements.

  2. Each team should have one team member prepared to deliver a two minute pitch (no slides necessary) describing: a) your target customer; b) the unmet customer needs you will address; c) the differentiated solutions you are exploring to meet those needs; and d) the status of your venture (how long you've been working on it, what work you've completed, etc.). You will also highlight how many team members you are still looking for, if applicable. Reminder: each team should have THREE students.


For those students unable to make this one-time Wednesday session, please contact Zoe Dabbs to schedule office hours with Prof Austin before the September 11 session so we can review course expectations. Zoe will try to schedule this as a group meeting.

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