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Managing Interdisciplinary Teams




Collaborative Design

Credit Hours


This course will teach methods and tools that focus a team’s creativity and analysis on the right deliverables.

It will also explore how the basic functional methods of the business world–things like schedules, budgets, emails and meetings–can be informed by design thinking leadership to be more effective for teams composed of multiple disciplines.

In both professional and academic careers, there is an increased need for the skills and experience required for managing and leading inter-disciplinary teams. Producing results, on time and on budget, is a critical part of leadership–and doing so while keeping a team motivated, enthusiastic, and engaged in the final output is the sign of an effective team leader.

Learning Objectives

This class is focused on teaching the principles and theories of managing an interdisciplinary team, and then applying these theories as a manager in a team setting. Although based on management theory commonly applied in for-profit enterprises, this course will also prepare students for the various aspects of designing, implementing, managing, and maintaining a collaborative, interdisciplinary academic research project.

Learning Outcomes

  • Students will be gain valuable and direct experience in managing a team comprised of different disciplines through a typical design challenge
  • Students will be coached on effective engagement strategies and understand their own leadership styles

Format & Grading

Classes will have lectures on tools, methods, and frameworks for multidisciplinary innovation and entrepreneurship. The projects will be collaborative and involve teamwork. In-class reviews of assignments on a regular basis will lead up to a mid-review and final presentation to sponsoring organization. In most cases, final presentations are made to the executive leadership of the sponsoring company/organization.

Enrollment Restrictions

Open to all graduate students of IIT. Recommended for second-year students at the Institute of Design.