Info 290M

Special Topics in Management

1-4 units

Course Description

Course may be repeated for credit as topics in management vary. One to four hours of lecture per week; two to seven and one-half hours of lecture per week for seven weeks. Specific topics, hours, and credit may vary from section to section and year to year.


Consent of instructor

Courses Offered

The Applied Data Analytics Project course offers students a chance to complete a data analytics project for a real client using real data - to develop impactful solutions to the client‘s business challenge. MBA students from Haas will work on teams with data science focused graduate students from UC Berkeley’s School of Information (“The I-School”), with support from Accenture’s big data group. Together you will take on a data-driven project, focused on solving a challenging issue for one of Accenture’s clients. Your team will take the challenge from data assessment and problem definition through to final client recommendations. The outcome of your project should be a set of strategic and tactical recommendations to increase the client’s effectiveness.

Successful analytics projects require managerial discipline, iterative problem solving skills, a solid grounding in the client’s business (whether an internal or external client) effective communications with both team and client, and data analytics tools and techniques -- including data set analysis, modeling, interpretation, and presentation. The primary objective of this course -- and of the projects -- is to gain valuable experience in applying the approaches, skills, and tools needed to have an impact on business results through the use of data analytics.

Every business depends on information — about customers, competitors, trends, performance, etc. Entire curricula have been focused on the technological, systems, strategic, and management challenges associated with that dependency. This course, however, looks at a different intersection between information and business. Specifically, it will explore how entrepreneurs across the world are developing ventures fundamentally centered on new and emerging information technologies and the business models and strategies they make possible. These include not only the Googles, Amazons, and Facebooks of the world, but also ventures like Comat and Samasource. In some cases, these are efforts on the proverbial cutting edge of technology; more often they involve creative application and/or integration of existing information technologies in innovative ways.

We will first examine the key elements of business models and the entrepreneurial process, before looking in more detail at a variety of ventures leveraging information-based technologies and strategies in an array of markets. Using of mix of case-study discussion, short lectures, and focused conversations with active entrepreneurs, this will be a highly interactive and collaborative course — not a sit-listen-take-notes type of class.

Expect to be actively involved in a series of in-class and outside assignments, both individual- and team-based, that will help you develop an understanding of how entrepreneurs are using information-centric technologies to create new markets and redefine old ones, and the lessons learned along the way. You may also explore your own ideas for new ventures along the way.

This course is designed to give participants a practical overview of the modern lean/agile product management paradigm based on contemporary industry practice. We cover the complete lifecycle of product management, from discovering your customers and users through to sales, marketing and managing teams. We'll take an experimental approach throughout, showing how to minimize investment and output while maximizing the information we discover in order to support effective decision-making. During the course, we'll show how to apply the theory through hands-on collaborative problem-solving activities. There will also be guest lectures from industry experts.

In Fall 2015 & Fall 2016, this course was offered for 2 units.

With the growing demand for analytics skills in business and government, there are many options for students to learn fundamentals of data and analytics modeling. There are fewer opportunities to learn how to manage analytics projects, which often involve leading teams with diverse skills and interacting with stakeholders in a variety of roles. This course is designed to offer students practical guidance and experience around the process of initiating, delivering, and evaluating analytics projects. It will draw on experience from a consulting perspective, talking about analytics with clients and delivering analytics-related engagements.

The course will cover the following topics:

  • Starting the analytics conversation: Identifying needs, understanding constraints
  • Planning and executing analytics projects: Sizing, staffing, communication
  • Making choices around data: Sourcing, standards, licensing and privacy
  • Making choices around analytics and visualizations: Techniques, technologies, and integration

This course is a hands-on exploration of the theory and practice of open online collaboration. Students will engage multi­disciplinary literature about collaboration while contributing to an existing open project (such as open source software, Wikipedia, or OpenStreetMap). Readings will explore business models for open source software organizations, incentives of cooperation and organization design for open source projects. Practical work will be organized around themes of project management infrastructure, community self-governance, and engineering education through open source participation. The goal of the class is to engage students in an existing open source community while developing functionality and expertise that can be part of masters final projects, faculty-­directed research, and beyond.

Delivering value to enterprises and ensuring long-term career success requires much more than pure technology skills. This course is an industry technology executive’s view of how, as information becomes increasingly strategic for all organizations, future technology leaders can accelerate career growth and bring value to their organizations more quickly by developing this core set of business skills.

This course will explore a series of critical business topics that apply both to start-up and Fortune 500 enterprises. This course is divided into three primary sections, delivered through a series of readings, industry guest speakers and hands-on practice of business skills:

  • Examining business models and strategies: How do companies plan to succeed? What are their business strategies and how do those translate into technology strategies and investments in support of these plans? Secondly, how does one analyze whether an organization’s culture is enabling or inhibiting that success?

  • Interacting with SF Bay Area technology executives: Students will have access to C-level executives in an intimate classroom setting as they discuss their organizational strategies, cultures and technology styles. How do they trade off speed, quality and features? How do they manage innovation when they also must operate? Currently scheduled speakers include:

    • Dick Daniels — CIO of Kaiser Permanente
    • Michael Kelly — CIO of Red Hat
    • Hugo Evans — VP of Data Science at A.T. Kearney
    • Roy Bahat — Head of Bloomberg Beta Venture Capital
    • Diana McKenzie — Former Workday CIO, current advisor and board member.
  • Enhancing core business skills: Presentation skills, negotiations, leadership styles, organizational change, personal brand and future career vision are topics that will be explored in class and in written assignments. A brief presentation will be required from all students.

It takes critical thinking, outstanding leadership, and a little magic to be a successful project manager. Come and learn not only the essential building blocks of project management, but the tricks to managing a variety of complex projects. We will have a combination of interactive lectures, guest speakers, and case studies discussions to cover globally recognized standards, best practices and tools that successful project managers use.

Last updated:

February 15, 2019