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. This course focuses on some key aspects of managing complex projects. Special attention will be devoted to uncertainty and risk management in innovation projects, to quantitative methods that support the control of innovative projects, to lean and agile approaches in design projects.
- Management of Design Projects: module aims at enriching the capabilities to effectively manage design projects characterized by multidisciplinary teams and a high level of creativity and innovativeness;
- Management of Innovation Projects: module aims at enriching the capabilities to define and effectively manage innovation teams and innovative projects.
The course aims at providing conceptual models, methodologies and tools to manage innovation and design projects. At the end of the course participants become managers with a specific sensibility in managing design and innovative projects and to develop specific competences in:
- Managing creativity in design projects
- Early prototyping design concepts
- Having a systemic view of the project and a holistic view of all its variables (organization, activities, time, cost, risk, control, value, etc.)
- Properly defining and controlling the project scope
The course has been designed around two modules:
- Management of Design Projects:
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.
- Management of Innovation Projects:
Systemic view of Project Management: Projects can be seen as complex systems in which many variables like the scope, the resources, the schedule etc. are in equilibrium. Every change to one variable will have inevitably an impact on the value creation. The systemic view of the project will allow future project managers to explore direct and indirect cross effects among variables and show that many problems can be faced with indirect approaches.
Scope Management: Managing the Project Scope is one of the main responsibilities of project managers. Its management starts with a full implementation and validation of scope statement documents. In innovation and design projects, though, a complete upfront description of the scope is often impossible. 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)
Course Scheduling (tentative)
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.
Management of Design Projects
- Tim Brown (2009). Change By Design: How Design Thinking Transforms Organizations and Inspires Innovation. Harper Collins Publishers;
- Roger L. Martin (2009). The design of Business: Why Design Thinking Is the Next Competitive Advantage. Harvard Business Press;
- Tenny Pinheiro (2014). The Service Startup: Design Thinking Gets Lean. Hayakawa;
- Eric Ries (2011). The Lean Startup: How Today's Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. Crown Business New York.
Management of Innovation Projects
- Rory Burke (2013).
Project Management – Planning and Control Techniques. Rory Burke Publishing;
- Project Management Institute (2013). A Guide to the Project Management Body of Knowledge: PMBOK Guide. Fifth Edition.
3. 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 both modules, participants will take part in Team-based Laboratories in which they will experiment, in Team, every main topic presented through lectures. Each laboratory session will last approximately 4 hours.
The Individual Written Exam, scheduled at the end of the module, 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 30% 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 Laboratory and an Individual Written Exam scheduled in the off-lectures period. Not-attending students will not be included in laboratories organized along the semester.
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.