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BU4580 Managing New Product Development

(15 ECTS credits)

(Please note: this module may be taken by all full year students except Engineering students)


Professor Paul Coughlan

Module Content/Outline:

Reducing both the product development interval and production cost while increasing product functionality are critical concerns of managers in many manufacturing firms. The module is designed for students who wish to develop their understanding of the complex management issues associated with the development of new products. The module will be based on a combination of case studies, readings and project work. The cases challenge students to analyse product development issues in differing industries and countries and to discuss these issues in class.  The project will challenge the students to engage with the issues in practice.

Learning Objectives:

    On successful completion of this module students should be able to:
    • identify and to understand the contributors to shorter development lead times and increased flows of marketable and manufacturable new products
    • identify and to understand the choices in structuring the development process, and the integration of differing functional capabilities during the development process
    • develop specific and actionable recommendations to managers to improve a product development process including: a description of the proposed action; time scale for introduction; resources required; knock-on effects anticipated in other areas; measures of performance of the change; expected outcomes 
    • work effectively as an individual in a team focused on reviewing the performance of a product development process

    Lectures &Tutorials/Contact hours:

    2 hours case discussion/lecture per week

    1 Tutorial per week

    Recommended Texts/Key Reading:

    The module will be based on a combination of case studies and readings. The case studies will be sold through Trinity Business School. Readings will be available from four sources: online from the Library E-Journals, online from the Senior Sophister Intranet, online from The Product Development and Management Association, and from the Library Reserve Collection at the Lecky Library.


    Project: Working in teams, students will prepare a series of reports on the practice of product development in a firm of their choice. The reports should reflect the issues and concepts which will have been addressed in the module. The tutorials will be used to discuss the project process and performance. 

    The project accounts for 40%, of overall grade

    Essay: Working individually, a 1000 word essay on one of a set of assigned topics. The essay accounts for 10% of the overall grade

    1 x 3-hour end of year examination - 50%

    Date for submission:

    To be advised

    Penalties for late submission:

    Unexcused assignments submitted after the designated submission deadline may be penalised by 5% of the grade awarded for each working day late, or part thereof.  In the event of a non-medical reason for non-submission of an assignment, please consult with and receive prior approval from the Lecturer. Students unable for medical reasons to submit an assignment must produce a medical certificate to the School of Business office within three working days of the missed submission date. Certificates received after that time may not be accepted.


    A 3-hour end-of-year written examination accounts for 50% of the overall module grade.