Oct 27

Course Description: product management and development

EMP 5109 University of Ottawa Faculty of Engineering
Lamoureux Hall, room 121 Mondays from 4 to 7 pm, starts January 6, 2014
Bruce M Firestone, B Eng (Civil), M Eng-Sci, PhD
Winter 2014

Course Objectives—

The main objectives of this course are fivefold:

1. To understand the nature of product management and development including engineering aspects of the process
2. To highlight latest trends in product management and development
3. To gain insight into processes which facilitate product management and development
4. To acquire an understanding of product management and development practices via case studies
5. To develop leadership and management skills required to create, initiate, develop, bring to market and implement new products or services

Who should take course?

Anyone interested in becoming a product manager or anyone dealing with/managing product managers who wishes to understand the process better.

What is a product manager?

A product manager is a person who has technical expertise as well as marketing and communications skills. He or she is present at the very beginning of a new initiative, i.e., at the ideation stage. Their responsibilities include taking a new product or service from ideation though its engineering development phase and then into the marketplace via pre-selected marketing channels or direct to consumer.

They bring an understanding of concept planning, functional programming, critical path scheduling, budgeting, cost benefit analysis, business modeling, pricing theory, guerrilla marketing and social media to bear on this process. They provide team leadership and take responsibility for delivery of products or services that are in demand in the marketplace and that yield rates of return that in the target range of their enterprise; they also bring them to the market on a timely basis and on budget.

They understand the value of launch clients and pre-sales not only to provide a guaranteed revenue stream for each new product or service but also to obtain business model feedback prior to launch.

About Bruce M Firestone—

Firestone is a professor, entrepreneur, urbanist, developer, broker and founder of NHL hockey team, the Ottawa Senators and their home arena, Canadian Tire Centre, as well as author, mentor, coach and keynote speaker for organizations with a positive focus on creating new opportunities for their stakeholder group. He can be reached via twitter @profbruce, email bmfirestone@exploriem.org or through his personal website www.brucemfirestone.com.

Course design—

• The course is designed to cover different aspects of product management and development. Teaching is done through a mixture of lectures, class exercises and case discussions.
• There will be a strong emphasis on self and group learning in the course, both inside and outside the class.
• Each student will be expected to do a considerable amount of preparation out of class on skill development, cases and projects.
• Students are expected to attend classes, to do pre-class preparation and be active in the learning process.
• Participation in the classroom discussions and group presentations will be tied to the learning, and therefore, to evaluation.

Course Pack—

Entrepreneurs Handbook II, Bruce M Firestone, Learn By Doing Publications, 2013. Available from, https://www.brucemfirestone.com/eh-ii/

Course Outline—

Topics covered in the course include:

1. Introduction to advanced product management
2. Business modeling/Internet integration
3. Role of creativity, innovation and differentiated value/IP protection, trade secret v patents,
copyright, trademark, public domain/first mover advantage
4. Advanced spreadsheet use: cost/benefit analysis using internal rate of return, IRR
5. Concept planning and functional programming
6. Scheduling, critical path methodology and project management
7. Securing launch clients, sponsors, suppliers, partners, strategic investors
8. Financing/unconventional sources/bootstrap capital/pre-sales
9. Supply and demand theory—pricing services and products, freemium, decoy pricing, reverse pricing models
10. Market channel development/guerrilla marketing and guerrilla market research/social media and social marketing/giveback programs
11. Negative cost selling/negotiating/neuro-linguistic programming (NLP)
12. Leadership/future vision

Assignments and Marking—

A. Prepare Concept Plan and Functional Program for product or service student group has self selected + Financing and Pricing Strategy (10%)
B. Cost/Benefit Analysis using Internal Rate of Return for product or service (20%)
C. Business Model for product or service (20%)
D. Critical Path Analysis for product or service (15%)
E. Create a 2-minute YouTube elevator pitch video (public, unlisted or private) (10%)
F. Present Product Management Strategy in class (20%)
G. Class attendance and participation (5%)

Students self form groups of not less than 2 and a maximum of 4 people per team. Team choices to be based on complementary skills of team members.

Late assignments result in deductions of 15% per week

Course Pre-Preparation

1. Please get a Twitter account and follow: @profbruce and @quantum_entity.
2. Please read Twitter Nation (https://www.eqjournal.org/?p=2080).
3. Take the ECQ Test (https://dramatispersonae.org/ECQTest/ECQ(ns)TestAuto.htm). Send your score to bmfirestone@exploriem.org.
4. Give thought to the product or service you wish to work on during this course and its business model. Please read: Things Every Tech Startup Needs to Know about Business Models (https://www.eqjournal.org/?p=4162) and Things Every Tech Startup Needs to Know about Self-Capitalization (https://www.eqjournal.org/?p=4119).
5. Practice developing a business model using an online Business Model Generator: BMG (https://www.old.dramatispersonae.org/bmg/)
6. Know how to create a 2-minute YouTube elevator pitch video (public, unlisted or private) by downloading and reading ‘How to Make a Great Elevator Pitch’, https://dramatispersonae.org/HowToMakeAGreatElevatorPitch.doc

Spread The Word

About the Author

Bruce is an entrepreneur/real estate broker/developer/coach/urban guru/keynote speaker/Sens founder/novelist/columnist/peerless husband/dad.