Technion-Israel Institute of Technology’ course New Product Development, which has been open to a limited number of students at Global Network schools as a Global Network Course, will now be open to the public.
The course, which is designed and taught by Avraham Shtub, the Stephen and Sharon Seiden Professor of Project Management at Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, will be offered through Coursera as a MOOC, a massively open online course. The course was developed to address the needs of companies adapting to changes in the global marketplace.
“Increased global competition requires companies and developers to remain a step ahead of their competitors today,” Shtub says. “You have to innovate. You have to come up with new products all the time, but you have to do it fast and you need to stay focused on value-added products. You have to generate great value for your consumers; otherwise the company will not survive.”
The class takes students through the process that companies and entrepreneurs experience when bringing a new product to market. Originally been offered to students at Technion, the course uses product development simulator software to replicate some of the issues that companies face when creating or adapting products for new markets. It was later adapted for the small network online course format, which allowed students across the Global Network to work together in global virtual teams in real time on product development issues like production goals and time allocation across time zones and borders.
In the course, Shtub focuses on “glocal” products—that is, products that are global in nature but locally focused. For example, he discusses how McDonald’s adapted its Big Mac sandwich and Chicken McNuggets for India, where many consumers don’t eat beef and some are entirely vegetarian, by creating the Chicken Maharaja Mac sandwich and Veggie McNuggets.
“People need to see products they can relate to and fit into their ways of life, culture, how they think and their feelings,” Shtub says. “One size does not fit all, and through the course, we provide students a framework and skills to navigate the challenges they might encounter.”