Session by Prof. D N Rao as part of Webinar Series “To Guide Engineering Students to select meaningful projects”
In today’s technologically driven world, the importance of innovation and product development is really growing fast. Firms must develop innovative products faster and more efficiently. With this thought in mind, we are fortunate to hear about how to improve time to market from Prof. D N Rao
Prof. D N Rao, Co-founder and Vice President of Centurion University of Technology & Management, is a social scientist and educator, catalyzing social entrepreneurship and employability in rural area. He has also conducted numerous training programs on building enterprise, business indicators, Project planning, monitoring & evaluation in different parts of the world.
For any industry, go-to-market Strategy is very important parameter to sustain in the market. This strategy need to define in such a way that it should reduce this go-to-market time. Prof D N Rao stressed upon exposing students to this requirement and expose them the techniques on how to launch a product in 100 days, right from conceptualization, design, manufacturing, validation and be ready with ready to launch product in 100 days. Prof D N Rao stressed that; every engineering college must adopt and introduce such a program with hands on experience under the guidance of Industry oriented teacher.
While implementing this kind of strategy to reduce go-to-market time to 100 days students learn entire product life cycle from conceptualization until marketing of the product. Such a program provides opportunities to the students to learn Industry practices like project planning, costing, presentation, cyber or physical collaboration, Intellectual property Rights / patents, communication and many essential skills. Such a program should simulate entire new product development process.
Prof. Rao also advised that colleges should think about Products than Projects, which specifically requires a shift in thinking and behavior from short term to long-term goals. Teams with Product mindset think about value outcome rather
than output. This doesn’t mean colleges have to physically develop a complete product, colleges can use of digital technologies, additive manufacturing facilities to conceptualize, design, validation, testing, simulation, process planning, process simulation and finally digital manufacturing, in virtual way. Such a program exposes students to the digital product development process including digital manufacturing. Prof Rao termed this as “Make your product Digitally Alive”. Prof Rao emphasized that in such a program students should work on useful, actual, industrial product.
Prof Rao explained Phase-Gate Process, which has five main stages in Product Development. This process includes stages as: Define product concept, Validate the concept, Design & development of the product, Validate design and finally implement.
A gate or a checkpoint is defined, between two stages, to determine whether the team should move to the next stage or an iteration is necessary in the current stage before moving to the next one. Such approach prevents propagation of errors, mistakes to the subsequent stages and ensures quality.
On a concluding note, Prof. D N Rao emphasized that, colleges to adopt tools / technologies:
Such an approach and replication of Industrial environment in the college campuses, helps in reducing the gap between Industry and Academia and helps in developing Industry Ready Engineers in the institutes.
Prof. Rao concluded his session by appealing to the students, professors and everyone concerned to “Always Think BIG and go for your Goals”