Customer-Centric Innovation


About this course

  • Length: 6 weeks
  • Effort: 6-8 hours per week
  • Level: Intermediate
  • Languages: English
  • Video Transcripts: English
  • Instructor: Prof. Piller

Addressing real customer needs is the core factor of managing innovation successfully. Exactly this is the task of the first stages of an innovation project, also called the Frontend of Innovation (FEI). In this course, you will learn about key concepts and methods of generating customer-centric business ideas and innovative concepts.

Often, the first stages of an innovation project are called "fuzzy", as they are considered to be less structured and less predictable. However, after studying this course, you will get a different perspective: The Frontend of Innovation indeed can be managed by skill and dedicated methods and does not need to rely on luck.

You’ll study sources of information on customer needs as well as different approaches to market research and customer co-creation. In addition, the course reviews the latest methods for generating market insights and how to turn them into promising concepts prior to entering the formal product development process.

You will learn screening activities and how to evaluate concepts based on concept testing with customers or rapid experimentation. This course will also connect theories of innovation and various models, explaining innovation success with actionable knowledge for industry practice.

Besides the online lectures, participants will engage in a series of individual and group exercises that will help deepen their understanding of the topic at hand. Real-life case studies and examples from companies will be used to help participants better prepare for actual situations. In addition, the concepts will be discussed in relation to their theoretical grounding in academic literature.

This course is part of the "Managing Technology & Innovation: How to deal with disruptive change" MicroMasters program designed to teach the critical skills needed to be successful in this exciting field. In order to qualify for the MicroMasters Credential, you will need to earn a Verified Certificate in each of the six courses of the RWTHx MicroMasters program.

What you'll learn

  • The nature of successful innovation processes
  • How to manage the “fuzzy” frontend of innovation from opportunity recognition to concept validation
  • How to transfer trends and insights from the external environment into business opportunities
  • How to understand what customers really want by identifying latent needs with the "jobs-to-be-done" framework, Outcome Driven Innovation, or Empathic Design
  • How customer co-creation and Netnography complement internal ideation management

Find out more about this course and enroll here