Managing Product Development
Due to the fact that product and service development is fundamental to most start-ups and established firms anywhere in the world, Managing Product Development (MPD) will focus on tools, techniques and concepts necessary in managing and improving development processes in product and service-based businesses. A very important part of the course is a project that gives students hands-on development experience before starting their careers.
The course focuses on conceiving, designing, and developing new products and services. It examines the full range of activities needed, including laying a foundation of knowledge and capability; understanding customer needs; creating innovative product or service concepts; managing experimentation and prototyping; and launching new products and services. Product development is an inherently cross-functional activity. The issues in the course therefore cut across functional boundaries, examining problems in areas ranging from design to marketing, and from manufacturing to strategy. Our concern is with the managerial skills and capabilities needed in effective practice.
The course is founded on the premise that effective learning can be action-based. The centerpiece of the course is a real project in which student teams conceptualize and design a new product or service concept. Teams work on actual development problems with real firms and interact with company sponsors several times during the course. Student teams also have the option of turning their own ideas into innovative product or service concepts, while receiving advice and close mentorship from faculty and practitioners.
Content and Organization
Managing Product Development is divided into two major modules:
- The product development project: Idea, Prototype, Business Case
- Facilitation courses: e.g. interface design, business planning, project management
The learning objective are:
- Building development capabilities: experimentation, learning and prototyping
- Product development processes design and improvement
- Development strategy and execution
- Learning by doing: team projects (several class sessions are set aside for project work)
The "Design Fair," devoted to the presentation of student projects, is hosted at the CDTM and draws many visitors from our partners, the press and the greater CDTM community.
Class sessions will draw on cases, lectures, in-class exercises and outside speakers who are either well-known experts or company executives. The cases come from a broad mix of industries and businesses. Examples include service development at internet speed, 3M's experiences with a new business process for breakthrough innovations, IDEOs innovation process approach, Sega's development and launch of its Dreamcast video game console in Japan.
The MPD syllabus is structured into three modules:
- Part 1: Building development capabilities
- Part 2: Designing Product Development Processes
- Part 3: Linking Strategy to Product Development Processes
Students will find detailed information on the MPD course pages in the CDTM Intranet (sakai.cdtm.de).