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DSGN 253: Introductory Topics in Design: Managing Student Run Projects


The purpose of this class is to teach overall program management, structure, and control for complex, multi-year efforts such as the vehicle teams, a startup business, or other multi-year student-run activities. Students will learn how to develop a vision for their team, design strategy and tactics, and prepare a multi-year business plan describing how to attain their vision.

The unique aspects of multi-year, student-run projects will be explored, including marketing and fundraising within in a non-profit setting, how to work with project management tools, developing approaches to distributed team management, and how incorporating data management is critical in the institutionalization of an organization’s knowledge. The focus on lifecycle management emphasizes the importance of process management and evolutionary rather than revolutionary changes.

The class is divided into several teams, each responsible for developing the business, operating, and/or technical plans for their chosen project. This is a highly interactive course that utilizes a combination of case work, a team project, and in-class breakout sessions to facilitate the development of each team’s plan.

The final exam is the presentation and defense of each team’s business plan.



Quarter Offered


DSGN 253 Introductory Topics in Design: Managing Student Run Projects
Meets Wednesday, 6-9pm in Ford G.211
Instructor: Dana Comolli

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