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NEW PRODUCT DEVELOPMENT: MBA COURSE PROJECT


At DeGroote School of Business, McMaster University, 6-7 groups of students who are studying the new products management course this semester, being taught by Dr. Robert Cooper and Dr. Ashish Pujari. Student groups will be delighted to work on some aspects of NPD projects currently being undertaken in the companies in Ontario. We solicit your participation in this collaborative work. Companies can enquire or send their proposal (1 page) to Dr. Ashish Pujari (Fax: 1-905-521-8995; email: pujarid@mcmaster.ca)

Students, working in teams of 4-5 people, are required to work on an independent-study project during the term with a local organization. The project can be any facet of a new product initiative. Typically these have included:

  • developing a marketing plan (launch plan) for a new product.
  • solving one aspect of the marketing plan for a new product (e.g. a pricing problem).
  • undertaking a feasibility analysis for a proposed new product (e.g., prior to Development).
  • identifying market opportunities for a new product or new technology (e.g., defining the right target market).

The team must work with the company (or other organization) to define the problem, scope of project and work-plan in writing and get agreement from the company in writing. The project deliverables include a written report (1 copy). Many student teams also make presentations to management at their companies. Please submit a copy of the report to your company as well.

Important Notes:

1. Under no circumstances can students accept payment or a promise of a consulting project involving payment from the company. Covering out-of-pocket costs (e.g. travel, phone, purchased reports, typing, etc) is OK, provided you get this in writing ahead of time!

2. While market information is usually an integral part of any project, please note that this is not a course in marketing research, hence the project should not be strictly focused on a market research study.

3. The project must focus on a real company (or organization) and a real product or service within that organization. So that student projects are comparable, and can be judged fairly, projects must be consistent with the above guidelines. While interesting, the following projects are not consistent with course objectives, nor do they fall within the stated guidelines above:

  • developing a strategy for a firm’s total new product efforts (too broad; not really part of the course).
  • benchmarking a group of firms re. certain new product practices (requires special skills outside the course).
  • undertaking an audit of new product practices and performance within a firm (not consistent with goals of course).

Interesting, yes, but not within the scope of the course.

4. This project is designed to simulate a real new product project as much as possible. You are the project team. Establish goals, a plan and time line, deliverables, method of communication, rules of conduct, etc. This should be considered an independent study project, i.e., you are a self-managed team.

5. For purposes of presentation, all team members should be available for in-class presentations of their project – several times during the course.

 

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