|This course complements the Chicago Booth's strong training in business theory by providing a problem-solving experience for a small but diverse group of students. The course is designed to help students improve their skills as leaders, team members, and client managers while developing solutions to real-world business problems. Faculty provide students with tools for solving complex problems and detailed feedback regarding their performance. Students who complete this course report they learn a great deal about their abilities as business professionals and find themselves better prepared to manage complex problems and situations in the workplace.
Guided by faculty coaches who are experienced business professionals, each student group is challenged to solve a client problem as an effective team. In previous years Abbott Labs, Accenture, American Airlines, Ameritrade, Bank of America, BASF, Barclays, Citicorp, Clorox, Dow Chemical, Eli Lilly, Frito-Lay, General Electric, W.W. Grainger, Harman International, Honeywell, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, Microsoft, Nabisco, Nestle, Snap-on Tools, and Roche Diagnostics have sponsored real-world projects. Client-sponsors report that the business insights generated by our teams are as good as, and at times even better than, those produced by top tier consulting firms.
We work with our client-sponsors to offer two distinct types of projects each year:
NEW PRODUCT PROJECTS: Clients ask our teams to develop new products and services for consumer or business markets. New product projects can teach students how to generate and evaluate new product concepts, how to develop and test prototypes, how to develop a marketing plan for the new product (including competitive positioning, financial forecasts, distribution plans, packaging, a pricing strategy, and a promotional strategy), and, finally, how to present your results to your client in an effective manner. Note that it is not possible to tackle all of these subjects in a single academic quarter. Project scope will be limited to a subset negotiated by the faculty with the client.
STRATEGY PROJECTS: Clients also ask our teams to improve the business performance of existing products, to identify whole new business ventures, to estimate the commercial potential of new technologies, acquisition targets, or targets for divestment. Our strategy projects teach students through direct experience how to decompose a complex strategic problem, how to develop and implement a research plan to evaluate competing solutions, and how to present your selected solutions to your client.
The tools and techniques you will use in these labs are widely employed by business consultants and managers, although time will focus the team on the tools required to solve your client's problem. If you are interested in obtaining a broad overview of all the tools consultants and marketers could employ in a variety of situations, we recommend that you supplement this course with other Chicago Booth courses. This course, however, provides an ideal opportunity to acquire practical experience in managing a cross disciplinary team engaged in a strategy or marketing consulting project.
Project sponsors and a brief description of the projects are announced via an email sent to all Chicago Booth students prior to the beginning of each quarter. Students do not bid for this course. Rather, as further detailed in the email announcement, interested students apply for the course by submitting their resumes for consideration. Questions regarding the course can be directed to the Management Lab Business Manager at 773/702.0635. Please note that because of confidentiality restrictions, the Business Manager cannot provide a description of the content of the projects beyond that set forth in the emailed course announcement.
In Autumn BUS 37701 will be offered according to the following schedule: Section I: Thurs./Friday. 8-11:30 am.
In Spring, BUS 37701 will be offered according to the following schedule: Section I: Thurs./Friday. 8-11:30 am with a class conference call each Tuesday; Section II: Thurs./Friday. 1-4:30 pm with a class conference call each Tuesday.