Customer-Focused Product and Service Design


Certificate Overview

  • Three month duration
  • 6 two-week courses
  • 12-14 hours per course

Successful product and service design requires elegant solutions; solutions that meet customers’ current needs yet are flexible enough to anticipate future ones. Engineering these solutions comes down to a proven systems design process. Become a key player on your development team by mastering this process, from conception to implementation.

Learn the systems approach to designing products and services, addressing the needs of stakeholders, thinking through problems with greater rigor, and presenting ideas more effectively—all vital skills which can be applied to almost any field or industry.

This certificate consists of six two-week courses and provides you with a firm foundation for applying the industry-standard systems design methodology to superior product and service design.

  • Discuss the benefits of the Getting Design Right process
  • Use this process and the associated work products to define a design problem in the context of your organization
  • Conduct a contextual inquiry to identify customer needs
  • Quantify how well a product or service meets customer needs
  • Use a step-by-step process to translate customer needs into technical requirements
  • Explain the reasons for exploring a broad design space
  • Discover and organize concepts relevant to a design problem
  • Generate integrated design solutions from initial concepts
  • Use a trade study to optimize design choices
  • Describe your product or service in a way that enables a team of people to work together on its design
  • Use design reviews to validate requirements
  • Use test plans to verify requirements
  • Execute a design through a process of scheduling and tracking
  • Use process iteration to refine and perfect the design
  • Any professional involved in product or service design, development, and production
  • Engineers, project managers, marketing and product line managers, or design managers

Faculty Author

Peter Jackson

Certificate Courses

Learn how to create sustainable competitive advantage by fine-tuning your design process. Adopt a systems approach to product and service evaluation and development.

Course Description

The commercial viability of a product or service is largely dependent on the integrity of its design process. System design begins with, of course, a bright idea. But it requires evaluation of that concept to determine its marketability, its potential for internal buy-in, and its technical feasibility before planning for production.

This course introduces you to customer-focused design, where behavioral psychology meets product analysis and service usage. Learn how to brainstorm and choose a concept, write a mission statement, identify internal stakeholders, analyze the customer experience, and define functional requirements for your product or service. Engineers and technical specialists will learn how to determine if a product or service is worth developing, and if so, how best to apply talent and resources to its development.

Learn how to identify and quantify customer demand. Create a design process and that maximizes your product or service's potential for commercial success.

Course Description

Did you know that you can determine a product or service's potential for commercial success before going to market? By properly identifying marketplace demand and setting up a rigorous evaluation and design process, you can develop a product or service that best serves your customers' needs and desires and stands the greatest chance for commercial success.

You'll learn to identify and measure customer demand; benchmark the competition to gain market advantage; rank and weigh product objectives; and define technical requirements for production based on the potential market. This course introduces field-tested, repeatable methods for designing a commercially viable product or service that positions your company ahead of the competition.

Create a high-value product or service by optimizing the design space and improving your design processes.

Course Description

Turn that brilliant concept and into a viable, market-ready solution by examining your design concept from multiple perspectives. Learn to review the requirements and components of your concept in greater detail. By optimizing the design space and streamlining the design process, you can increase efficiency and actually create more value for your customers.

This course will teach you how to take a raw concept and create a polished design. Avoid the pitfalls of hurrying the process or neglecting to examine your concept from all angles. Learn how to research competitor products in depth; collaborate with customer experts; and perform patent searches all of which help to move your design one step closer to market.

Clear communication and well-prepared systems architectures enable design and development professionals to work together seamlessly and productively.

Course Description

Carrying a concept to completion is no simple task. Design and development teams need precise information about function, requirements, interfaces, and project components. A concept cannot be put into production until the system architecture has been reviewed for integrity and technical variables have been taken into account.

Clear communication among design stakeholders can be especially challenging. Learn how to establish a common language and remove ambiguity from the process to ensure a smooth hand-off from the concept design group to the development team.

Because an array of stakeholders, from engineers to managers, are typically involved in this transition, seamless communication and clear understanding of the design architecture are instrumental in developing a successful product or service.

Identify and eliminate risk factors in your design. Employ analytical tools to properly assess and mitigate risk in your development process.

Course Description

Nothing about designing a product or service is entirely risk-free. In systems design, risk is always present, so it's more a matter of identifying, quantifying, and properly managing it. To gauge a product or service's potential for failure, first assess whether the design addresses requirements, then test and evaluate it to determine if it's capable of reaching performance targets.

Learn how to reduce the severity of negative outcomes and become a problem solver. Run a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) in order to quantify and manage risk and review real-life risk management scenarios. When flaws in concept or design processes are discovered, you'll know how to deploy the FMEA to prioritize corrective measures.

Risk will always be present. Prevent wasted development budgets, avoid future sales difficulties, product recalls, even bad press by identifying, quantifying and mitigating risk early in the development process.

Create a design architecture and implement control measures to increase quality and efficiency as you execute your project plan.

Course Description

Be more creative, productive and efficient in your development projects. Create tight parameters in your project architecture and exercise rigorous control over processes and you'll not only enjoy better performance; you'll prevent wasted time, resources, and inventory.

As you move to production, your improvements to the system design will be instrumental in reducing, if not eliminating entirely, quality problems, product recalls and lawsuits.

As the final course in the certificate program, you will emerge with a functional and customized system design plan that you can apply directly to your business.

Alumni Testimonial

I have referred to the process on many occasions to influence my co-workers, our joint venture partners. The experience was positive and I am happy to have taken the program.
Allan P.
Technology Manager, BP