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New Product Development

Spring 2009 MBA Course

B8604-001: New Product Development

M - Full Term, 05:45PM to 09:00PM
Location: WJW 310

Instructor: Rajeev Kohli


The development of new products and services is perhaps the most significant activity within a firm. It also one of the most risky — many years and millions of dollars are spent developing products that on average fail far more often than they succeed. The best companies, on the other hand, manage to bring out successful new products year after year.

This course examines the strategies, processes, tools and techniques used by leading-edge companies for new-product development. It examines different stages of product development, from idea generation to market testing. Although the primary focus of the course is on physical products, much of the material is also relevant for the design of new services.

A major component of the course is a new-product development project, proposed by the students themselves. Teams of 3 to 4 students will collaborate on a project. Each team will execute all of the following steps in the new-product development process:

  1. Idea generation
  2. Needs assessment based on secondary and primary research  (including observation of consumers)
  3. Market and competitive assessment
  4. Market potential and risks
  5. Assessment and selection of a business models
  6. Concept development and positioning
  7. Design (including design for use, and platform design if relevant)
  8. Costing and pricing

Each team will make two presentations. The first will be in week (session) 4 and concern all the work up to market potential and risk assessment. The second will be in week (session) 12, when each group will present their final report. Each group will also submit a 25-30-page final report on the project.


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