Class VII


Class VII completed their Capstone projects in November 2006. Below is a list of titles, authors, and advisors, followed by abstracts:

For a copy of a Capstone report, please e-mail and indicate project title, your organization, and the reason for your interest.

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Convergence of Market and Technology Opportunities in Derivative Product Development: A Project Selection Framework

Carol-Lynn Goldstein, Matthew R. McLaughlin, and Jeanne M. Wesline

Firms today increasingly seek to leverage product platforms via derivative product versions of the base platform, but successfully doing so is a significant challenge. Numerous enablers are required, such as robust product development processes, effective and well trained organizations, R&D activities that are aligned to support product strategies, and a clearly defined corporate strategy. In derivative product development, however, firms struggle with identifying the optimum derivatives to develop and bring to market. Evaluating which feature functions to improve upon, which technologies to incorporate, which markets to pursue, and ultimately which derivative product to develop is an uncertain proposition that has huge implications on future profitability. There exist numerous tools and processes whose purpose is to provide guidance in these activities, yet a limited number are known to apply specifically to derivative product concept generation and selection. More importantly though, through extensive literature research, we have observed the lack of a complete process to guide firms in this regard. It is the intent of this capstone project to offer a foundation for such a framework. Case studies performed with leading firms involved in platform product development have provided insight into common pitfalls, issues, and countermeasures to these. Our research has lead us to propose a generic derivative concept generation and selection framework, that while not a fully enumerated process, is nonetheless intended to be the basis for additional contribution and refinement.

Partnering to Productize Technology: Putting Best Practices to Test in Developing and Launching New Products

Ravi K Nareppa and David S. Shuman

Having performed an in-depth review of available literature on the topic of innovation and partnering, one could conclude that there are many companies that systematically process ideas and incorporate them into new products. While examples abound of larger companies performing collaborations, we became curious about how concepts and inventions can be passed from the unaffiliated inventor to the corporate world. Cases where individual or small teams of inventors were able to find a home for their technology with large companies were few. Thus it was decided that perhaps the best way we might gain in- depth knowledge on this topic was to develop a product of our own and try to make some contacts with potential partners.

Open Innovation Inside & Out: Recommendations to Xerox & Delphi

Nancy Jia, Shelly Hamilton, and David Anderson

Since Henry Chesbrough coined the term Open Innovation in his 2003 book Open Innovation: The New Imperative for Creating and Profiting from Technology, Open Innovation has become a buzz phrase in the business world and numerous publications have been released on the topic. Unfortunately most of the literature is limited in scope to the aspect of Open Innovation which deals with leveraging ideas originating outside the four walls of the firm and in general fails to provide practical advice from an established firm's perspective.

New Process Implementation: A Multi-Dimensional Approach

Jason R. Calus, James M. Ellis, and Brian R. Fletcher

In December 2004, the authors of this Capstone enrolled in Rochester Institute of Technology's Master of Science in Product Development program, representing their sponsoring organization, ITT Space Systems Division. Over the past two years, the Capstone authors participated in this innovative, interdisciplinary leadership program that emphasizes cross-functional, end-to-end product development. Despite their varied educational backgrounds, the authors discovered that they have a common area of interest, that being change management. With that in mind, the authors employed a team-based approach in relation to the Capstone, in order to benefit from each other's experiences and abilities. Additionally, the team recognized that to maximize their graduate education, it would be beneficial for the Capstone to incorporate a case study involving a recent change at Space Systems Division. The subsequent paragraphs, within this Executive Summary, provide the background regarding the Capstone's real-world scenario.

Achieving Growth for Large Pharmaceutical Corporations through Strategic Licensing

X. Michael Liu

Product development in the pharmaceutical industry has become a lengthy, risky, costly and extremely complex process. Few pharmaceutical companies today have the breadth of internal proficiency and resources required to continuously develop sufficient new products to keep their pipelines filled. Many large pharmaceutical corporations have utilized mechanisms such as licensing, alliances and acquisitions to obtain new products/technology and fuel growth.