Syllabus

The Programme is divided into 4 main content blocks and ends with a final project work.

The “Innovation and Design” block interprets strategy making as a process strongly affected by the development of innovation and the role that design plays in the organisation. Mainly, it provides an overview of strategy-making concepts related to a specific industrial setting where creativity management and design represent key assets. Here, the idea of strategy making is interpreted through the lenses of design, where the concepts of “design-driven” innovation, the close link between planning and execution, and the human-centricity principles tend to update the classical and orthodoxical strategy-related constructs. On the other hand, the block treats Corporate Entrepreneurship and Organisation Transformation as fundamental components to sustain continuous renewal and align the organisational posture to the strategic purposes. Strong emphasis will be placed on the concept of Strategic Design to bring strategic thinking down to the product-service system level. A deep-diving experience on how design-driven companies work is provided thanks to innovation classes and design managers who share their experiences with students. The group projects proposed by innovative companies and supported by them are part of the training programme and add a unique chance for students to work on real cases in close connection with design-driven companies.

  • Innovation and Design for Transformation
  • Corporate Strategy
  • Corporate Entrepreneurship
  • Digital Transformation
  • Design Thinking for Business
  • Strategic Design


The “Leadership and Engagement” block provides an overview of theories and actional behaviours to illustrate leadership to create a culture of innovation, inspiring the team and stakeholders and activating a virtuous process of engagement across organisational silos. As has been recognised, unexpected obstacles and inertia are common in innovation and design projects. Here, designers and innovation managers are required to learn how to embrace complexity, identifying the key aspects underpinning a sound involvement of all the actors necessary to create the expected outcome. This part of the Master presents the different nature of Leadership: effectively developing capabilities to manage change and innovation in organisational contexts. The block connects Decision-Making approaches with an in-depth review of the constructs of Organisational Behaviour and Business Process Management. Furthermore, the conclusive part presents the overlapping area between Design culture and Organisational culture; the overview of the primary Design culture principles/pillars is presented as a means to nurture a culture of innovation in organisations by increasing employee engagement and their creative capacity. Designing spaces that facilitate interaction and the sparking of creativity, conceiving an intangible infrastructure that enables participation and inclusion, and developing a culture oriented to “learn by failure” are all part of that game. The block alternates theoretical lectures with testimonials by design leaders that will show how design culture penetrated a business culture adding new meanings, novel values, and actionable principles.

  • Leadership and Decision Making
  • Organizational Behaviour
  • Business Process Management
  • Design Culture
  • Employee Engagement


The “Data and Creativity” block is hinged on the central theme of data. Over the last twenty years, the subject of data has profoundly changed how companies create strategies, generate innovations, and interface with users. While Big Data provides immediate market feedback on consumer preferences and trends, creativity often works with other data: it analyses the dataset differently from the way in which data mining systems can.
Creativity feeds on 'weak' data, peripheral data that is not collected globally, but derived from a specific context of use. It is data that some people call “weak”, but which sparks creativity. After a general overview of the role of Big Data in innovation strategies and processes, the block will focus on how to conduct User research and gather qualitative data to generate valuable insights. Thus, the content will present how to transform services leveraging multiple data sources and how data can be grasped, organised and framed to support and induce creativity in the team. The Master explores the concept of a data-driven design through specific applications and the voice of innovation managers who run consulting projects where data plays a key role.

  • Big Data Analytics
  • Platform Thinking
  • Design and User Research
  • Data and Service Innovation
  • Data and Creativity


The “Design Ops and Transformation” block aims to break down the myth of the designer and his chaotic work outside the organisational rules and business procedures. In successful organisations, the development of the design process is planned and framed as a flow of operations where actors, activities, tools, and enablers of creativity have to be connected among themselves and with other parts of the organisation. According to that frame, creativity needs to govern the design process while considering the organisation’s purpose, the talents inside the organisation walls, the knowledge sharing mechanism and the overall structure associated with the power flow. After an overview of open innovation and collaborative mechanisms logic, the block focuses on modern creative project management methodologies: agile methodologies, design methods and the organisational rules underlying UX/UI projects. The modules in this block articulate advanced didactic methods that see the cohabitation of the discussion of case studies, the development of group projects, and the introduction of some software related to the management of DesignOps.

  • Design Ops
  • Open and Collaborative Innovation
  • Design Methods
  • Agile Innovation
  • UX/UI Design


FINAL PROJECT WORK

During the second half of the Master, participants are required to carry out a Project Work, which will be discussed at the end of the course. The objective of the Project Work is to develop a consultancy project with the support of the POLIMI Graduate School of Management - Politecnico di Milano Faculty. Working closely with Politecnico di Milano professors and researchers, participants in the programme will have the opportunity to apply the tools and methods learned during the SDIT Master to tackle issues of interest to companies and build relationships of great value to their professional careers.

THE EXPERIENTIAL NATURE OF THE MASTER

Digital Bootcamp During the Master, there will be two sets of activities named “Digital Bootcamp”: workshop sessions (held remotely) that last three days (from Thursday to Saturday). Participants will face a specific design challenge promoted by leading design-driven companies. The intensive design sessions will be complemented by talks/thematic interventions by experts from different sectors.

F2F Factory/ experience Moreover, during the Master, two face-to-face experiences will take place (one in Milan and another one abroad): participants will visit innovative businesses and meet design and innovation managers. In inspiring contexts, candidates will have different experiences: from visiting design organisations and Labs of modern masters to a cultural tour evoking the Italian evolution of design.

Timeline

Discover a typical week for our students

Deadlines

Applications are processed on a rolling basis. Since the number of seats in class is limited, candidates are encouraged to apply as early as possible. Should the course become fully subscribed before the deadline dates, applications will close earlier.

Apply now