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First Course

Integrated Engineering and Business Fundamentals

Business Practices ClassThe first course in the sequence, Integrated Engineering and Business Fundamentals, examines six main subject areas:

- Financial Processes
- Business Strategy and Planning Fundamentals
- Project Management
- The Product Development Process
- The Supply Chain
- Lean Six Sigma

Financial Processes covers topics such as how to read a financial report, understanding financial statements, corporate stock, financial ratios, return on investment, working capital and the bond market.

The elements of business strategy and execution are featured in the Business Strategy and Planning section of the course. Included are the basics of Strategy development, Industry Analysis, Competitive Advantage, Creation of Customer Value, Market Segmentation and Targeting, Consumer Behavior and the Buying process and Business Aspirations (Mission, Vision, and Values).  This module also introduces the concepts of Lean Start-up and the Business Model Canvas.

The second half of the course focuses on practical processes that engineers will experience in their careers.  Based on the foundation of the Triple Constraints of project management, students explore the current best thinking in Project Management.  The framework of the six stages of project management will be explored and the tools of work breakdown structures, critical path analysis, project planning and execution will be developed. 

Product development drives ongoing business success.  The students will focus on best practices for successful product development, the Stage-Gate product development process and innovation concepts.  The impact of the voice of customer and rapid development iterations on the product development process will be explored. 

From manufacturing, procurement and the supplier network to distribution, intermediaries and the end-user, the Supply Chain module studies the management and flow of materials, sourcing locations, information and core operational philosophies.  Inventory management concepts and the interaction of the product category with the Supply Chain design and objectives will be explored. 

All organizations need to constantly improve in order to prosper.  During the Lean Six Sigma module the student will explore the results of quality revolution of the 1970’s and 1980’s through the emergence of Six Sigma, Lean and Lean Six Sigma of today.  The core philosophies and resulting tools driving organizational improvement in all areas will be considered as well as the impact on both the organization and the engineer.