Overview of the Course
Projects are the managerial tool that enable innovation. Until some years ago only companies operating in few specific sectors (e.g. aerospace and defense, civil engineering) needed a full set of tools and methodologies to manage projects, while nowadays companies operating in software, service-based, creative industries are looking for new innovation and design tools supporting the creative problem solving paradigms. This course focuses on lean and agile approaches in design projects. More specifically, the course aims at providing conceptual models, methodologies and tools to manage innovation and design projects.
The course has been designed around the following main concepts and frameworks:
- Design Thinking: Explanation of the methodology by showing the guidelines and the steps to follow. This in order to show how thinking like a designer can transform the way people develop products, services and even strategy. The Design Thinking approach broke the mold of the “lone genius inventor” and it is considered the father of the modern R&D laboratory. Considering this it is clear the importance to approach and understand this methodology to manage properly Design Projects.
- Prototyping: It is a crucial aspect in today’s world and not only in the Design field. Students will explore some methodologies and tools useful to address this topic. Indeed no designer wants to deploy a “go to market” based on an inside-out hypothesis developed only on the project team. So it is important to consider this aspect during Design Projects and use tools and methodologies like: 3D printing, Rapid Prototyping, Experience Prototypes, Iterative Design and Open Source approach in order to manage complex projects.
- Lean development: Lean development and lean startup are approaches that are getting more and more relevance in today’s panorama not only in hi-tech industries. In particular we will present and discuss the necessary stages, the Agile loop of rapid development, the Service Design, the MVP (Minimum Viable Product). These techniques will be transferred to students because developing a project in today’s complex and volatile market needs to be managed in a different way compared to the past.
- Minimum Viable Service: It is a structured framework combining the Lean Startup Agile loop with the Service Design approach. It is an evolution of the MVP approach to develop new technological solution considering the relevance that service Design and Design itself is gaining lately. A focus will be given to the impact of this methodology in large organizations.
- Agile Project Management: Flexible scope management, agile methodologies and specific approaches like SCRUM, will be presented as well as negotiation approaches and tools to manage the customer relationship.
Claudio Dell’Era (firstname.lastname@example.org; +39 02 2399 2798)
Stefano Magistretti (email@example.com; +39 02 2399 4093)
The table below shows the classrooms and the class scheduling for each section.
09:30 – 13:00
(15 min break between 11:15 – 11:30)
Slides / Case Studies / Videos
Slides, case studies and videos will be made available through the course website on BeeP.
Suggested Textbooks, Papers and Case studies
There is not a unique reference textbook, but rather a collection of textbook chapters / papers / case studies from different sources that complement an active participation during classes.
- Brown T (2009). Change By Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. Harper Collins Publishers;
- Burke R (2013).
Project Management – Planning and Control Techniques. Rory Burke Publishing;
- Cooper RG and Sommer AF. (2016). The Agile–Stage‐Gate Hybrid Model: A Promising New Approach and a New Research Opportunity. Journal of Product Innovation Management.
- Knapp J (2016). Sprint – Solve Big Problems and Test New Ideas in Just Five Days. Google Ventures.
- Martin RL (2009). The design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage. Harvard Business Press;
- Pinheiro T (2014). The Service Startup: Design Thinking Gets Lean. Hayakawa;
- Project Management Institute (2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK Guide. Fifth Edition.
- Ries E (2011). The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Crown Business New York.
- Educational Process
The Course actively engages students in an experiential learning process: in addition to conceptual inputs, the faculty will use case study discussion, laboratories, teamworking sessions and team presentations. The Course requires that participants:
- Attend class regularly and contribute to class discussions;
- Be fully prepared for class (by accomplishing the pre-assigned tasks);
- Actively participate in team projects and activities outside of class, and contribute to team learning.
The main educational process is thought for students who will actively participate in class and who will engage in team-bases activities. The Course allows some students, who are not able to provide this form of active participation, an alternative educational process.
The course is based on individual and team activities.
The Lectures manly aim at illustrating and sharing frameworks, models and tools. In order to facilitate the understanding, case studies are presented and discussed along the lectures.
During the course, participants develop Team Design Thinking Projects adopting the Design Thinking approach. Each participants belongs to a self-selected team defined at the beginning of the module (teams are averagely composed by 6 members). Team Design Thinking Projects are composed by five main sections:
- Empathize: the development of this section is based on observations and interviews developed by each team (one dedicated course slot: see Section 5);
- Define: the development of this section is based on re-framing activities developed by each team aimed at clearly define the problem the team is addressing (one dedicated course slot: see Section 5);
- Ideate: the development of this section is based on concept generation activities developed by each team aimed at designing innovative solutions (one dedicated course slot: see Section 5);
- Prototype: the development of this section is based on the creation of prototypes that allow to verify the reflections developed in the Ideate phase (one dedicated course slot: see Section 5);
- Test: the development of this section is based on the reflections about test design and delivery (one dedicated course slot: 16th April 2018).
The Individual Written Exam, scheduled at the beginning of the off-term period, is composed by small case studies and open questions.
Not-attending students are those who—for some major constraints that should be clearly explained to the faculty by email—are not able to participate to more than 50% of classes and/or team activities. Students with overlapping classes should commit in participating to Management of Design and Innovation Projects activities within the above mentioned limit or follow the course as not-attending students.
The final exam consist of an Individual Design Thinking Project and an Individual Oral Exam scheduled in the off-lectures period (see next paragraph for additional details). Not-attending students will not be included in teams organized along the semester. Individual Design Thinking Project substitutes the Team Design Thinking Project that attending students accomplish in teams. The Individual Design Thinking Project is about the same brief proposed to the teams along the semester. The brief (selection of the brand) must be agreed with Claudio Dell’Era (firstname.lastname@example.org) at least 2 weeks before the exam. Individual Design Thinking Projects are presented during the oral exam.
The faculty of the course strongly suggest to attend classes and to engage in team activities. An active participation to the course not only improve the effectiveness of the learning process, but also reduce the overall effort that the student has to put in the preparation of the final exam characterising the course.
 E.g. Interns, Erasmus, etc.