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Syllabus for

Academic year
PPU085 - Product planning - needs and opportunities
Produktplanering - behov och möjligheter
Syllabus adopted 2021-02-11 by Head of Programme (or corresponding)
Owner: MPPDE
7,5 Credits
Grading: TH - Pass with distinction (5), Pass with credit (4), Pass (3), Fail
Education cycle: Second-cycle
Major subject: Industrial Engineering and Management, Mechanical Engineering, Industrial Design Engineering

Teaching language: English
Application code: 33119
Open for exchange students: No
Block schedule: D
Maximum participants: 60
Only students with the course round in the programme plan
Status, available places (updated regularly): The course round is full

Module   Credit distribution   Examination dates
Sp1 Sp2 Sp3 Sp4 Summer course No Sp
0107 Examination 7,5c Grading: TH   7,5c   12 Jan 2022 pm J,  13 Apr 2022 pm J,  18 Aug 2022 pm J

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Johan Malmqvist

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General entry requirements for Master's level (second cycle)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Specific entry requirements

English 6 (or by other approved means with the equivalent proficiency level)
Applicants enrolled in a programme at Chalmers where the course is included in the study programme are exempted from fulfilling the requirements above.

Course specific prerequisites

Same as the Product Development Programme, MPPDE.


The aims are that the student should develop an understanding of how product development coincides with business development and the fundamentals of product planning and analysis of different stakeholders' needs and requirements. The course also develops certain generic research skills, including problem formulation and research design, as well as skills in written and oral communication of research results.

Learning outcomes (after completion of the course the student should be able to)

  1. Explain what is meant by a product's (market) lifecycle and its implications for companies' product planning
  2. Explain the role, tasks, organization and deliverables of product planning
  3. Account for how product planning is carried out in selected corporate contexts
  4. Develop various plans that guide the product development activities in a company, including product plans, technology roadmaps, product-process change matrices etc.
  5. Develop a mission statement for a particular product development project
  6. Explain and differentiate between the meaning of key terms such as customer/user, needs, customer/user or engineering requirements etc, including sub-categories of the terms
  7. Explain why different requirements are more or less accessible using, for example, the Kano model and the Iceberg phenomenon as bases
  8. Plan a study for eliciting customer/user needs and requirements for a technical product, including to make a purposeful choice between different methods and tools for eliciting, analysing, communicating and documenting customer needs and requirements, and to appropriately consider research ethics principles
  9. Describe the principles of and apply tools for eliciting (collecting) and analysing qualitative and quantitative (market and customer needs) data respectively
  10. Use appropriate methods and tools, such as customer needs lists, moodboards, etc, to document and communicate customer needs and requirements
  11. Generate, screen and select product opportunities that derive from new technologies, environment, markets and customer needs
  12. Compile information about and assess the state-of-the-art in a particular technological domain and/or application area through the use of patent databases, benchmarking and other means
  13. Forecast future technology evolution through use of tools such as S-curves and technology readiness levels, etc, and use the forecasts to guide the development of strategic product and technology development plans
  14. Describe the patent lifecycle, including criteria for awarding patents, the application process and the associated rights
  15. Systematically search for patents in databases such as EspaceNet, and compile sets of patents related to a given product or application/function
  16. Account for the generic structure of a patent document and extract critical information from a patent document
  17. Analyze sets of patents (patent landscaping) in order to map out technology trends, research and development activity, and, patent ownership (patent portfolios)
  18. Describe and use established tools for carrying out an analysis of societal and market trends, and conclude on the business implications of the analysis
  19. Explain what is meant by market segmentation and describe aspects by which a market can be segmented
  20. Identify potential market segments, and screen and select the most promising market segments for a defined product 
  21. Estimate the target market size for a future product
  22. Describe what a business model is and develop a business model canvas for a product/company
  23. Describe entrepreneurial ecosystem components and actors, and explain how they can support product and venture creation
  24. Identify and formulate complex research problems
  25. Explain the roles and differences between exploratory and confirmatory research in the context of product development
  26. Explain what is meant by primary research and describe the information sources and research methods that can be used. Be able to carry out primary research and critically evaluate its results
  27. Identify their need for and acquire project-related subject matter knowledge from previously not studied subjects and use that knowledge in one’s own project
  28. Explain what is meant by secondary research and describe the information sources and research methods that can be used. Be able to carry out secondary research and critically evaluate its results
  29. Relate different types of research methods/tools to different technology and market research purposes/objectives
  30. Choose between and combine primary and secondary information sources to carry out product planning research
  31. Account for principles for research ethics and academic honesty, and apply them in the design, execution and reporting of a research study
  32. Plan, and with suitable methods carry out, qualified tasks within given constraints
  33. Work and collaborate in a group with international members 
  34. Orally and in writing clearly communicate in English their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these


  • Product definition, product planning and product portfolio
  • Strategic development of products and technologies
  • Patents & immaterial property rights
  • Product benchmarking and positioning
  • Methods for analysing societal and market trends
  • Key concepts in a customer and user centred product development process 
  • Theoretical basis for customer/user eliciting needs and requirements
  • Processes, methods and tools in the early phases of product development including methods and tools for eliciting and interpreting needs and requirements
  • Qualitative and quantitative methods for customer data collection and analysis
  • Customer needs specifications and other tools for communicating customer/user needs and requirements
  • Intellectual property rights
  • Entrepreneurial ecosystems


The course is organized as a series of lectures, seminars, and a project.


Ulrich, K.T, Eppinger, S.D. Yang, M.C. (2020) Product Design and Development, 7th ed, McGraw-Hill, New York.

Examination including compulsory elements

The examination of the course is based on attending and being active in scheduled seminars, two guest lectures, a workshop, a project assignment and a written exam. The project assignment and the written exam are graded according to F(ail), 3, 4, or 5.

The course examiner may assess individual students in other ways than what is stated above if there are special reasons for doing so, for example if a student has a decision from Chalmers on educational support due to disability.

Page manager Published: Mon 28 Nov 2016.