EGR 590 Managing New High-Tech Product Launches

This course covers new high-tech product development and launch from the perspective of the technical product manager responsible for developing and launching new products and new lines of business within the high tech firm. Topics cover entrepreneurship and “intranpreneurship”, product management, the entire spectrum of the new products development and launch process starting from concept generation, ideation, concept evaluation, and business case analysis all the way through market testing and product launch. A particular emphasis is placed on the planning and development of a new product for the student’s current employer. Students may also use this course to plan a new start up company if they are not currently employed. Each phase of the new products management process will be covered and illustrated by case studies. Life cycle product management will also be addressed. Students will generate a new product business plan as a course project. 3 credit hours.

This course will be operated as an online asynchronous seminar course. The course covers a wide range of topics and here, they will be addressed through a series of mini case studies. The course consists of 14 weeks. Each week, there will be 2 video lectures. The video should be watched on or about Monday and Thursday, although you can vary this to fit your schedule. You may complete your readings, study and assignments at any time throughout the week. There will be reading every week. After the fourth week of the course, there will be ongoing project work. Twice during the semester, you will be asked to submit a case report.


• Prerequisite

Graduate standing with an undergraduate technical degree.

• Course Topcs
  • New Products Planning and Development Process
  • Opportunity Identification/Selection and Business Case Analysis
  • Concept Generation and Ideation.  The IDEO Process.
  • Concept Evaluation and Testing.  Disruptive new products.
  • Market Research – market size, market trends, market behavior
  • Competitive Analysis and Industry Analysis.  Porter’s Five Forces.
  • Sales Forecasting and Financial Modeling.  Financial Analysis.
  • Product Design and Positioning
  • Development Team Selection and Management.  Cross Functional Teams.
  • Product Use Testing.  Alpha and Beta Testing.
  • Strategic Launch Planning.  Test Markets.  Beachhead.
  • Launch Management and Market Testing
  • Customer Service, Maintenance, Training, Help Desk
  • Product Life Cycle Management.  Product Management.
  • Sources of Capital.  Capital Raising.  Venture Capital.  Internal Capital.

• Course Objectives

Upon completion of this course, students will:

  • Understand the principal issues involved in technical product management throughout all phases of the product life cycle.
  • Be able to develop, plan and manage with a product management plan that covers design, development, test, marketing and sales, and customer support.
  • Be able to use strategic planning tools
  • Develop skills in writing business plans
  • Be skilled at participating in the development of a strategic plan that relates to organizational objectives for a product or product area including its phase out and replacement at the end of the product life cycle.
  • Understand the relationship of supply chain issues and performance as it relates to the product manager’s job.
  • Acquire skills at making persuasive presentations
  • Be aware of product liability issues, product warranties and their management and product recalls and their impact and management.
  • Acquire basic financial management tools needed by product managers.
  • Learn about the role of regulatory agencies and administrative law as it affects the provision of products to the marketplace.
  • Become exposed to several markets through case studies including pharmaceutical, medical device, software, alternative energy products, electronics, telecommunications and entertainment products. Case studies will be sued so that students can learn the similarities and differences impacting product management in different markets.

• Course Requirements

Your success in the class depends on a mix of learning from others and developing ideas and concepts of your own. The course requires learning from assigned readings, threaded discussions, and a term project to develop a product launch plan. Students are expected to complete reading assignments (available on the course website) before viewing the twice-weekly posted videos. You will need to provide a webcam and headset (earphones and microphone) to record your final presentation at the end of the course. You must complete the requirements under Grading below.


Case Studies

20% Two written reports worth 10 points each
Participation 20% Based on 2 participation reports worth 10 points each
Midterm Quiz 20% Open book multiple choice quiz containing 20 questions
Business Plan 30% 10 Page Business Plan with 10 Chart Pitch
Project Exercise 10% Evaluation of others projects playing the role of "VC"

• Textbook

Required. The following book is required reading in the course as assigned by the course syllabus. Each week, specific details about the relative importance of the various topics will be posted through course announcements.

NEW PRODUCTS MANAGEMENT, 11th Edition by Crawford and Di Benedetto, McGraw Hill 2011, $110

In addition, a case study has materials that need to be purchased and financial analysis tools are needed. These are provided in the lecture charts, and they a re summarized below:

IDEO Harvard Case Study (approx $10)
Abrams Electronic Financial Worksheets, $44

The total cost of all required materials for this course (book and case materials) is approximately $165)

References. The following are References for the course and are “NOT REQUIRED” to be purchased. However, students may want to review some of them in the library.
1. Engineering Your Start Up, by Leveraging the Horizon, by Ed Addison
2. The Art of the Start, by Guy Kawasaki.
3. Product Management, by Haines.
4. Crossing the Chasm, by Geoffery Moore.
5. The Innovator’s Dilemma, by Clayton Christensen.
6. The innovator’s Solution, by Clayton Christensen.

• Computer and Internet Requirements

NCSU and Engineering Online have recommended minimum specifications for computers. For details, click here.

• Instructor
  Edwin R. Addison,  Lecturer
Edward P. Fitts Department of Industrial and Systems Engineering
NCSU Campus
Raleigh, NC 27695

Mobile Phone: 910.398.1200