After passing the course, the student can:
- outline the prospective development process based on analyses of a product notion.
- predict and substantiate possible risks and threats that might be encountered during the development cycle
- attain a structured description of the development process (in its context).
- abstract specific situations to a more aggregate overview of product development
- critically assess product development processes
The development of (consumer) products might seem to be a boundless, frantic and disorderly activity. In trying to get a grip on things, some companies tend to overstructure the development process to such an extent that the required flexibility, adaptability and creativity is endangered. As a middle course, the solution is to be able to control and govern product development processes within the context of the company, the primary processes (related to e.g. product planning, design methodology and project management) as well as the aspect systems (like quality control, information & knowledge management and human resources). The course gives an overview of the area in which product development is carried out, and gives insights and approaches to fathom its complexity and to demystify the immanent structures that can be used to put all different aspects of development processes into context.|
The course gives examples of processes and aspects that play important roles in product development. Additionally, the relations between these processes and aspects are depicted. This is done in such a way that students can construct their own overview of the entire area: students choose a certain product notion, and analyse the role, the importance and the consequences of the processes and aspects for that product. While doing that, they simultaneously construct a depiction of a product development process that is suitable for that product notion and that pays adequate and weighed attention to the processes and aspects involved. While working on the course, the student is expicitly exposed to academic publications (mainly journal papers) and is challenged to assess the quality of these publications. Simultaneously, the student writes a publication himself, thus actively attaining a research/academic attitude in presenting his/her research, methods and results.