Module Note | May 2003

Managing Product Development

by Stefan H. Thomke


Introduces students to the managerial aspects critical to conceiving, designing, and developing innovative products and services. Considers the full range of activities required: learning about customer needs, understanding and managing experimentation and problem solving, product development process design and improvement, and development strategy and project management. The issues cut across functional boundaries, examining problems in areas ranging from design to marketing and from manufacturing to strategy. The focus is on the managerial skills and capabilities needed for effective practice; it does not require training or experience in a technical field. Integral is a realistic product or service development project in which students, in teams, learn by doing. The course is divided into three modules: the first two are closely linked to research and the third addresses the increasing importance of networks in the development of new products and services. The curriculum design and pedagogy emphasize integration.

Keywords: Product Design; Product Development; Service Operations; Business or Company Management; Projects; Management Practices and Processes; Experience and Expertise; Customers; Research; Management Skills; Integration;


Thomke, Stefan H. "Managing Product Development." Harvard Business School Module Note 603-088, May 2003.