- Class 6
- Practice 9
- Independent work 165
Innovative project 2 - Product or services development
This is a series of three interconnected modules (Innovative Project 1-2-3)
The entrepreneurial mindset empowered by digital technologies is becoming more and more a requisite to improve society. This entrepreneurial thinking can be taught, and the fundamentals can motivate individuals to pursue their business interests and/or add value to existing business organizations. These modules prepare students for a future career as entrepreneurs, either as founders of new businesses or within already established companies and to give students practical insights into those business aspects that are particularly important during a firm's early development phases, and to make them more effective in managing and growing the start-up firm. They also provide the cornerstones for successfully launching and implementing entrepreneurial projects within already established organisations.
The purpose of this series of modules is to guide and assist students to think and act entrepreneurially; the modules will empower students to be entrepreneurial and innovative as they develop their own business ideas but at the same time focused on digital technologies which will function as enabler of their project ideas and business models.
While entrepreneurship can be as theoretical as any field of research, this module has a distinctly practical orientation (learning-by-doing) where students will learn through organising frameworks, analytical tools, and discussions around real-life cases that provide practical guidance in addressing and solving common problems and challenges in managing the start-up and growing a firm. The aim of the module is for students to demonstrate their ability to apply specific knowledge and skills to work in a team to develop a plan for a real-life innovative and disruptive new business venture in the context of digital economy.
This series of three modules (Innovative Project 1-2-3) is assessed through an interdisciplinary team assignment with guided individual participation for each student and by the end of the modules, participants will know how to pro-actively deal with some of the most common challenges involved in launching a new business venture. Students will develop skills and insights for evaluating, articulating, refining, and pitching a new product or service, either as a start-up business or a new initiative within an existing firm. These modules are appropriate for all students interested in innovation and design as necessary components of new businesses today.
Students will get a unique chance to understand what it takes and how it works to turn an idea into a real business, a chance to see up close and personal how a variety of different competencies and activities need to be covered for a successful business case.
These modules will not only give students a great career experience but will also help them in their personal growth. Since many digital roles today bridge ICT and entrepreneurship, students will be able to enjoy the best of both worlds. Moreover, they will be able to adopt a problem-solving attitude and realize that team work is what makes modern digital products and services today. We will stimulate teams to envisage new products and services powered by high tech; artificial intelligence, IoT, machine learning and other technologies.
Innovative project 2 – Product / services development
The aim of the module is to follow the product/service development plan set during the previous module, Innovative Project 1; using the Scrum or other appropriate methodology, teams will break their work into goals that can be completed within time-boxed iterations (sprints) the length of which is two weeks.
In a series of sprint reviews with their mentors, teams will showcase the work they have done and perform sprint retrospective, so as to ensure continuous improvement. They will learn to differentiate between developing features for a PoC, MVP and a fully developed product. Following the lean approach to innovation development, they will test the features developed with their customer segment in a continuous communication cycle. If it proves necessary, they will be taught how to pivot: when is the point to persevere to overcome and obstacle, and when the obstacle becomes a debilitating feature that has to be side-lined, rather than confronted head on.
Parallel to the service development, students will work on the sales and marketing strategy of their product launch. They will learn to differentiate between various types of users and how to target and motivate the early adopters. They will understand what traction means and how to achieve it. At this stage, they will also learn about starting their own company and/or starting a new service/product line in an established company.
1. Ries, E. (2011) Lean Startup. 1st edn. New York City: Crown Publishing.
1. Trott, P. (2016) Innovation Management and New Product Development. 6th edn. Edinburgh Gate: Pearson.
2. Christensen, C. (2016) The Innovator’s Dilemma. Kindle edn. Boston: Harvard Business Review.
3. Wunkler S, Wattman, J. and Farber, D. (2016) Jobs to be Done. Illustrated edn. Broadway: Amacom.
2. Kim C. (2015) Blue Ocean Strategy. Revised edn. Boston: Harvard Business Review.
Minimal learning outcomes
- Implement development plan in order to produce digital product / service.
- Critically evaluate use of tools and techniques for problem solving in team environment, applied to innovative solution.
- Implement and design technical documentation supporting use of tools and methods selected to implement innovative solution in line with plan.
- Develop sales and marketing strategy for innovative solution.
Preferred learning outcomes
- Implement best practices approaches while implementing development plan and producing digital product / service.
- Use best practices scenarios while applying tools and techniques for problem solving in team environment to innovative solution being developed.
- Use best practices approaches while implementing and designing technical documentation supporting use of tools and methods selected to implement innovative solution.
- Use best practices approaches while developing sales and marketing strategy for innovative solution.