Management of Innovation & Product Development MBA Track

This MBA Track focuses on the strategy and execution of innovation, giving students understanding and experience with integrated multi-function teams and relevant marketing insights and objectives. The skills are applicable to innovation of physical products, services, software, business models, systems, and brands.

It is the most important business topic of all: identifying and fulfilling the unmet opportunity. Few business schools teach how to do it. Fewer still provide the experience of collaboration with an interdisciplinary team of engineers, designers and MBAs. The Management of Innovation and Product Development Track focuses on the “how to” of innovation, giving students understanding and experience with integrated multi-function teams and relevant marketing insights and objectives.

The MBA Track’s capstone course teaches a rigorous and analytical process that structures the work involved in innovation, a process that allows innovation to be ongoing, strategic and replicable. Students gain not only knowledge and skills relevant to innovation but also gain experience in an innovation project. The initial phase of the innovation process is to identify problems to solve, which is to elicit target markets' needs. Middle phases focus on translating research findings into product specifications. The latter phase focuses on conceptualization and refinement of the solutions, both of the product prototype and of the solution business plan.

Students learn and experience the process in the corporate-sponsored capstone course, where faculty from Carnegie Mellon’s top-ranked colleges of Business, Engineering and Fine Arts provide coursework and team guidance.

The program culminates in a capstone project course that is sponsored by an industry partner. Past sponsors have included Ford, New Balance, Respironics, BodyMedia, P&G, Nissan, Mine Safety Appliances, and International Truck.We are proud of our record of innovation via this MBA Track:  Sponsoring companies have applied for more than 15 patents on the student projects that have resulted from the course.

Graduates of this MBA Track are adept at knowing not just how to solve problems but how to define them. Students will master the collection and integration of varied perspectives into a valued product (software, service, system or brand). Students will also gain the skills necessary to communicate a concept in a proposal or high-stakes presentation to senior management and to manage the project through to commercialization.

Students enrolling in the MBA Track should have a rigorous focus on understanding and documenting marketplace needs as well as company technologies, capabilities and skills. Students should be willing to shoulder risk to achieve what they find will be profitable for company and customers alike. Participants in this track must exhibit intellectual achievement but also motivation, responsibility, collaboration, perception and an open mind.