Institut für Innovation Management

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Spezialisierung und Wahlpflichtmodul: Feeding and Managing the Innovation Pipeline

Instructor: Prof. Dr. Jelena Spanjol
Assistant: Jan-Frederic Kuhlmann

This course will be offered in its entirety in digital format and will adhere to previously indicated timelines. No in-person classroom activities will take place for this course. You do not need to come to the rooms indicated on LSF or previously communicated elsewhere. Instructions on how to attend the digital lectures and tutorial will be published on LSF in time for the beginning of the semester

What is this course about?

How does a firm decide to develop a particular new product (manufactured good or service)? Out of all the possible new offerings, what guides management to pick one concept over another? How is the set of possible new offerings even populated? All these questions pertain to what is commonly known as the "front end of innovation" (FEI) - a complex process with many uncertainties to manage. The FEI is critical in feeding and managing the innovation pipeline and portfolio. This course illuminates major associated management challenges and examines a select set of decision scenarios, focusing on practically-relevant problems and contexts.

What will I gain from this course?

In this course, students examine critical management challenges in identifying problems to solve and opportunity spaces to innovate in, as well as in populating the solution domain. Conceptual frameworks, theories, and empirical evidence are collectively analyzed towards supporting decision-making in the front end of innovation. By the end of this course, students will have a solid understanding of key managerial challenges associated with the front end of innovation, and will be familiar with the concepts and tools to effectively manage those challenges.

How is this course conducted?

  • You will do all of your work in English, and we will deliver all instruction in English.
  • We are following a block format for this course.
  • Course credit: 6 ECTS
  • Examination: written exam

What is the course schedule?

All administrative information can be found in the LSF.
For more information please contact Jan-Frederic Kuhlmann kuhlmann(at)

Exam registration (via LSF): 11.05.2020 – 18.06.2020
Cancellation of registration: 11.05.2020 – 25.06.2020

Exam SS 2020

Thursday, 02.07.2020 18:00 - 20:00 GSP 1, M 218

Test run – Open-Book Take-Home exam "Feeding and Managing the Innovation Pipeline"

Dear students,

as you know, the summer semester 2020 exams will be carried out as take-home exams with an open-book format. This also applies for the exam in "Feeding and Managing the Innovation Pipeline". We strongly recommend participating in a test run of such exam types, which is organized by ISC. The test exam will take place on June 17th, 2020 at 2 pm (14:00 Uhr). Please note that this test run is not a preparation for the content of the exam itself but to familiarize yourself with the procedural and technical aspects of these new exam type.

If you want to participate in this test run, please register until June 12th, 12 pm (noon) by sending an email to containing the following details: Full name, matriculation number, campus email address.
Please also make sure to de-activate the forwarding function in your campus-account and that you have sufficient storage for receiving mails. Otherwise, you will not receive the exam. In advance to the test run, please also inform yourself about the open-book take-home exams by carefully reading the instructions provided by ISC:

Thanks for your help!

Additional information for students participating in the test exams for "Managing the Front End of Innovation" and "Feeding and Managing the Innovation Pipeline"

Dear students,

this is a short reminder that the test runs for the digital exams "Managing the Front End of Innovation" and "Feeding and Managing the Innovation Pipeline" takes place on June 17th, 2020. The exam will start at 2 pm (14:00). If you want to participate in this test run, please make sure to register for it (see previous news announcement for details).
Please read the instructions regarding digital exams on the ISC website carefully:

There will be an online support opportunity in form of a Zoom support room that you can consult in case you have any difficulties with the exam (both for the test run as well as for the actual exam). The link to this support room can be found on the ISC website.

Please also make sure that you have installed the right software for taking the exam, which is dependent on your operating system. Also, ensure to de-activate the forwarding of mails from your campus account to your private account and that your campus account has sufficient storage. Again, please carefully read the instructions provided by ISC to familiarize yourself with all details.

In case you don’t receive the exam instructions 30 minutes before the exam start, please consult the Zoom support room for further assistance.

Thanks for your help.