NICF- Product Thinking for Organisations

NUS Institute of Systems Science

NUS Institute of Systems Science


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Who should attend

The target course participants are primarily for Product Owners, Programme Managers, Project Managers and IT Managers who are keen to develop product management skills in terms of team leadership, product-thinking mindset, and techniques and process design needed to support product management and innovation. In addition, business/project stakeholders such as business executives/managers, Marketing/Sales, and PMO with responsibilities and/or an active interest in design and implementation of business transformation towards a product-centric and product-thinking culture.

It is applicable for professionals engaged in the following areas.

  • Product ,Programme and Project Management
  • Leading product development team
  • PMO functions- defining processes in product team organization


This is an intensive, foundation course. Participants with some prior years of experience working with different functional teams in an organisation delivering products and services will benefit more from the course.

Participants also need to have a strong interest in product management concepts, managing product teams and product design processes/techniques. It is also highly relevant to Programme and Project managers looking to expanding their skills to product management.

NUS-ISS also offers a range of other basic courses in various aspects of product management for participants new to it.

About the course

Project managers are focused on completing a project and handing-off to operations. Product managers, on the other hand, need to continually evolve the product and grow market share.

In a fast changing IT landscape accelerated by disruptive technologies, technology driven products and services are impacting the way business is run. The typical project model alone is unable to support these new developments. Organisations need to adopt and adapt a product thinking mindset for the business to survive. Project managers and IT professionals would need product thinking concepts and techniques to bridge the gap and stay relevant.

This 2-day course is targeted for professionals who want to learn about and apply product thinking concepts, processes and tools in delivering systems, services or products for the business or for the internal organisation and teams.

Key Takeaways

At the end of the course, the participants will be able to:

  • Learn to identify and apply suitable techniques, processes and tools in product thinking for the participants environment, with a focus on digital enablers for the product
  • Learn to define digital product processes
  • Learn how to lead and manage product development teams

What Will Be Covered

This course will cover:

What’s Product-Thinking and Why is it critical?

  • a. What’s Product Management and common Product Management frameworks and methodologies
  • b. Roles in a Product-Thinking organisation - Product Manager, Product Owner, Project Manager
  • c. The benefits of using Product Thinking
  • d. The motivations and drivers

Study of Industries undergoing productisation. E.g. Public Sector, SME, MNC

  • a. Projects as a vehicle to deliver services, systems and products (the current construct – the characteristics (e.g. One-off, tailored to one customer, fixed end dates).
  • b. Productise Business as Usual (BAU) – operational services.
  • c. Challenges and mitigation measures in the productisation
  • d. Trends and emerging concepts

Useful Product-thinking concepts to adopt (part 1)

  • a. Customer
  • b. Value, value added services
  • c. Agility
  • d. Bi-modal operations

Workshop 1 : Understand, identify, and analyse product-thinking opportunities in an organisation.

Participants will be organised into breakout groups. Each group will be provided with a traditional projectised scenario of a company’s current operations and challenges. The group will identify areas where product thinking can be applied to and analyse and list the benefits/pros and risk/cons as justification for management buy-in.

Useful product-thinking concepts to adopt (part 2)

  • a. Road mapping
  • b. Internal/ external Marketing
  • c. Continuous delivery
  • d. Productisation processes

Digital, the lever to productization

  • a. How digital enables products
  • b. The digital elements
  • c. Platform based environments

Application of Product-Thinking to different types of organisations

  • a. Public Sector Organisations – productise services to the public
  • b. Vendor, Systems Integrator – pick best features to build a product / change in setup and structure
  • c. Internal IT department – e.g. Use of road mapping for upgrades and changes
  • d. Small and Medium enterprise/start-up – developing an idea into a product

Workshop 2 : Develop a product-thinking model for the different types of organisation and a possible operationalisation strategy.

Participants will be divided into breakout groups and given a traditional projectised organization case scenario. They will work as a group to exercise the product thinking learned, remodel a new structure or design a new process to support product thinking.

Students will also submit an individual reflection of how the concepts can be applied to their organisation’s environment


Tan Liong Choon

Liong Choon is currently a Senior Lecturer cum consultant in ISS. He started his career in ISS as Deputy Director of the National Infocomm Competency Academy in 2007, to help spearhead the development and implementation of competency-based training in various Institute of Higher Learning in colla...

Felicitas Seah

Felicitas is a member of the Project Management Practice at the Institute of System Science, NUS where she teaches and consults in project management practices and soft skills for post graduate students and industry professionals, working with corporate clients to deliver customized training for ...

Silvia Thom

Silvia Thom is the Regional Director of Product Management at ZALORA - Asia's leading online fashion destination. Together with her team she oversees ZALORA's customer facing products such as the websites and an Android and iOS app but also internal systems used by Operations & Logistics, Cus...

NICF- Product Thinking for Organisations at NUS Institute of Systems Science

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