The Capstone Unit is the final unit of our MBA and involves a world-class learning module in the field of strategic management, intersecting with principles in design thinking and product engineering. Students develop a real-life working prototype over a period of 4-5 weeks, based on a commercial problem, embedded in the strategic roadmap of our partners.
Students receive intensive mentoring from faculty staff and coaches, access to strategy documents and stakeholders within the partner organisation, and the opportunity to work in diverse, high-performing teams. If the prototype is successful, the corporate partner may invest or develop the product further after completion of the unit. Students may also go to market for independent investment and support.
The Capstone Unit is based on design strategy, and tracks a team's progress week by week.
Initially, your team will be given a top-down strategy problem with clear customer implications. Your team then works from the bottom up to define customer needs and develop solutions. Finally, your team will integrate its emergent prototype with the internal demands of stakeholder organisations. This top-down/bottom-up approach is the essence of design strategy, an approach that optimises both learning and commercial engagement.
The Design Strategy unit is a highly intensive learning experience. You should aim to have minimal work and outside commitments while completing this unit. It will help you to understand and apply entrepreneurial models such as design thinking, lean start-up, and the lean business model canvas. However, this unit also extends beyond these tools by embedding them within a large, complex organisation and set of stakeholders.
Our founders are responsible for overall leadership of the capstone unit and selected deliveries within the MBA.
Our teaching fellows are responsible for leading deliveries of the Design Strategy unit within our partner organisations.
Our coaches are expert mentors to student teams, and are selected based on their recognised expertise in design strategy and effective communication.
We typically work with organisations once they have identified a customer issue to which they are planning to commit budget. We supervise the coordination of teams and interactions with corporate partner stakeholders during the course of the unit.
Over the 4-5 weeks, teams produce a well-defined, mock-up prototype and gather important consumer feedback. This consumer-focused design process enables teams to develop a business case at a lower cost than traditional corporate product engineering.
We are excited to partner with organisations that are interested in building a long-term relationship with the University of Sydney Business School. In return, we bring value to complex problems through our interdisciplinary, high-impact teams.