MEM 417: Product Development



This is a one (1) unit course.

The ability to develop new products and bring them successfully to market is a critical capability for all companies. Often there is insufficient attention paid to the methods and processes. This course will provide students with an understanding of the key elements of effective new product development.

Although product development is sometimes thought of as limited to the development of consumer or industrial products, many of the same concepts and techniques apply to products and services in the broadest sense including, financial services, software and professional services.

An effective program for new product development requires a multi-disciplinary team, often drawing on skills from engineering, manufacturing, marketing, purchasing, sales and legal resources. The manager of a new product development project must have the skills to manage such an inter-disciplinary team. Although this course is for engineers, it will cover aspects of the New Product Development process across these disciplines.

Course Format

The course material is organized to follow the sequence of product development and will focus on the methods and specific tools that have been proven useful in practice. Specifically the course will follow three distinct phases: Discovery, Development and Commercialization. The course will require students to work in teams throughout the semester on a product development project. The project is structured to allow students to put into practice the principle techniques that are covered by the course. The focus will be primarily on the product development process, not the technical design process.

Sample Syllabus