Managing Product Development (MPD)


A 9-day management program for R&D Managers. An R&D manager with the ability to integrate business thinking, technological opportunities, team skills and motivation beyond the formal organization will always be crucial to the competitiveness of a company. The MPD program offers nine days about strategy, organization, leadership, tools and methods for R&D managers.


You are an R&D Manager or a manager with R&D related responsibilities and you have at least five years experience of working in R&D organizations. You are open-minded and eager to learn about matters close to your professional heart – how to become a better leader and add to your competitive skills.

9 dagar
Malmö, Stockholm, Göteborg
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As an R&D manager, do you now and then wish that you had explicit processes and methods to improve the productivity of your R&D team? Do you wish that you could better handle the politics of R&D management and not get involved in continuous reallocation of people and resources? Do you feel that you could improve your ability to create a robust development strategy and implement it into the everyday practice?

Running on its 12th successful year, we dare to say that this is Europe's best leadership development program specifically tailored and continuously updated to the changing needs and leadership challenges of R&D Managers. The program targets a multitude of crucial challenges that R&D managers face. For example: 

  • managing and stimulating creativity and innovation
  • project selection, investment allocation and portfolio balancing
  • understanding and aligning product strategy, market orientation and customer demands
  • managing effective and creative group processes in R&D settings
  • R&D leadership
  • managing specialists in team settings
  • lean product development principles and tools

In the challenging Managing Product Development program you will be given excellent opportunities to discuss R&D matters with colleagues from many other companies. Most importantly, we will provide you with new knowledge and ideas as well as tools and skills to deal with the complex projects and processes in the R&D field.

Key benefits for participants and organizations

The simple truth behind a program of this quality is that what is good for you is good for your company. The aim of the Managing Product Development program is to give you knowledge and tools to help your company meet the demands of fast and cost-effective product development. As a participant you will benefit from contributions in many areas. Some examples:

  • You will learn how to better listen to the voice of the customer and how to effectively involve customer demands in R&D processes.
  • You will learn how to evaluate project portfolios and establish R&D priorities.
  • You will improve your R&D leadership abilities and your change management skills.
  • You will learn the key principles and tools for lean product development.
  • You will learn how to manage effective and creative group processes and to improve the productivity of your team.
  • You will learn to manage supplier involvement in development and to apply open innovation strategies.

Learning approach

The Managing Product Development program is an ambitious 9-day program for experienced R&D managers. Program contents cover R&D strategy and organization, tools and methods for efficient product development, and the unique aspects of efficient r&d leadership. The program mixes state-of-the-art academic research results with practical experience from successful companies and their management philosophies. Workshop training and action learning are important and integral features of the program.

The program relies on both research and established practice and offers a mixture of traditional lectures and exercises, combined with reflection and discussion sessions. It is designed so that participants are given opportunities to reflect and apply knowledge gained to their own work and experiences, through reflection exercises and mini-cases. Furthermore, the program rests on the premise that knowledge is best created in dynamic cooperation, typically illustrated in cross-company assignments for learning and experience sharing.

Module 1: R&D strategy

A robust R&D strategy aligned to the firm’s overall business strategy is a prerequisite for effective long-term R&D. When this is in place, you will have a foundation for a roadmap detailing what to develop and when to do it. This will also give you input on how you ought to organize the future development work in an efficient manner. Accordingly the first module deal with matters related to the alignment of R&D operations to technology and business strategy. We will cover the following topics:

  • Technology development and product development – the importance of strategic fit
  • Techno-economic trends and implications for R&D
  • Business strategy and R&D management
  • Innovation management and entrepreneurship
  • Project selection, investment allocation and portfolio balancing
  • Open innovation

Module 2: Organization, processes and methods for efficient R&D

A high-performing R&D organization is characterized by continuously improving the key processes. In this module we will address several of those key processes. You will experience some of the current best practices in the different areas as well as the latest research findings regarding how to manage customer input in early stages of development, how to create a learning culture and how to apply lean principles. Accordingly, we will address the following key processes and methods:

  • Organizing product development
  • Knowledge management – create learning in teams
  • Lean product development principles and tools
  • Product platforms and modularization
  • Sustainable product development

Module 3: R&D leadership

If you are a leader or a manager in R&D you will most likely face a number of very specific challenges related to the unique nature of R&D work. They may stem from the complex nature of technology, the creative forces of development work, or the motivational drivers of engineers and scientists. In this module we will address several of those challenges with the purpose of providing both insights and concrete solutions. The following topics are included:

  • Managing effective and creative group processes in the R&D setting
  • Managing the politics of organizational change
  • The R&D manager as a change agent
  • Managing specialists in team settings
  • The R&D manager as a communicator – sharpening rhetorical skills
  • Innovation and creativity in R&D organizations

Program faculty

The program is based on the distinguished knowledge resources in R&D management and strategy at Chalmers University of Technology and in our external network of leading international academics, experienced business practitioners and management consultants. The program faculty, with in-depth expertise in different areas of R&D management and strategy, will provide lectures and workshop sessions throughout the program.

Professor Koenraad Debackere, Katholieke Universiteit, Leuven, Belgium. Expert on innovation management

Dr. Nick Milton, Knoco Ltd, UK.
Expert on knowledge management

Reino Wikmalm, Svensson & Wikmalm, Sweden.
Expert on team dynamics in R&D organizations

Professor Mats Magnusson, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Sweden. Expert on R&D strategy and management

Professor David Buchanan, Cranfield School of Management, UK.
Expert on organizational politics

David Loid, Chalmers University of Technology, Sweden.
Expert on rhetoric and positive influence

Dr. Leif Denti, University of Gothenburg, Sweden.
Expert on creativity

Richard Granger, independent consultant, UK.
Expert on R&D strategy and portfolio management

Dr. Håkan Swan, Ivolver AB, Sweden.
Expert on lean product development



Avbokning kan göras kostnadsfritt fram till åtta veckor innan starten för programmet/kursen. Om avbokning sker senare utgår avgifter för beställaren enligt följande:

  • 0-2 veckor innan starten för programmet/kursen: 100% av program-/kursavgiften
  • 2-4 veckor innan starten för programmet/kursen: 50% av program-/kursavgiften
  • 4-8 veckor innan starten för programmet/kursen: 25% av program-/kursavgiften. För kurser inom Sjöfart: 0% av program-/kursavgiften

Avbokningen måste ske skriftligen. Avbokning av logi sker i enlighet med hotellens avbokningsregler. Vi accepterar en kollega som ersättare för den ursprungliga deltagaren.