R&D Performance Improvement Guide: The R&D business function is one of the most significant and pivotal departments in an organization, as it allows organizations to keep up with ever-changing technological innovations. Imagine a company without an R&D function.
R&D operates in unexplored technology domains that are complex, difficult to understand, and sensitive, making it even more difficult to measure performance parameters. However, an organization needs to measure such KPIs and ensure the sustainable development of the innovation powerhouse.
This brings us to how R&D performance can be measured and what can be done to increase its efficiency. Certain factors can be taken into account while creating an R&D performance improvement guide. Here’s a comprehensive list of those factors, as per the needs of the organization:
R&D Roadmap Ahead
The R&D roadmap is a crucial phase that can impact R&D performance. This includes more than one qualitative variable, like the quality of the research, the scope of the end product, general user acceptance, and others. Parameterize these variables to set quantifiable goals. Other business variables like budgets, resources, technological shifts, and others are some of the other factors that are to be considered before creating a comprehensive R&D roadmap.
Idea generation, brainstorming, and idea nurturing play pivotal roles in improving R&D performances. This is one of the most important formative stages, where a significant amount of research goes into generating new ideas, understanding the technology around them, and assessing viable market opportunities around them. Structuring the ideation process through smart AI-based assistance can help shape the ideas more effectively. One of the things that are to be considered during the ideation phase is the possibility of the end-product and its utility, which will have a long-lasting impact on R&D performance.
So what are some possible action items that can assist at this step?
- Making sure the research carried out is relevant and in sync with the market.
- Gathering as much prior data around the subject matter using the hybrid (automated and manual) approach. Make sure to cover the important databases to reduce the chances of duplicity.
Setting Standards, Processes, and Protocols
Defining a process helps improve results in the long run. Standardization of processes increases the chances of identifying weak links early in the innovation cycle. This saves time, money, and resources and improves the quality of the output.
Efficient Data Management
Data plays an important role in the R&D function, whether it is data creation, referral, or management. Proper channelization and management of this data are the keys to improving R&D performance. With the volume of data that R&D functions operate in, the chances of missing out on important information or details are not surprising. Hence, companies need to put comprehensive database management systems in place.
Managing Changes and Reiterations
During the R&D lifecycle an idea or a concept goes through, some multiple reiterations or changes are incorporated before finalizing the end draft. It is very important to consider these changes as important concept points, even if they are not part of the final draft. It is also important to communicate the incorporated changes to all the relevant stakeholders within or outside the organization to avoid any conflict of interest.
Incorporating New-age Tools and Software
The digital era is impacting R&D in big ways. It is redefining conventional practices. With the ongoing pace of technology, R&D teams must consider new-age technologies tailored to their needs. It is important to understand that, though conventional approaches yield results, they may become obsolete and inefficient within a few years.
There are tools and SaaS-based platforms that can assist in data gathering, data management, and cross-functional collaborations. Emerging AI-based tools provide data precision, which aids in refining existing workflows and streamlining new methodologies. XLSCOUT, one such emerging Artificial Intelligence (AI) and Machine Learning (ML) equipped tool, offers multiple solutions for data aggregation, idea generation, and IP and R&D collaboration.
R&D productivity is very subjective and largely varies with the operational domain of an organization. However, some standard practices can be incorporated to increase the productivity of R&D business functions.
XLSCOUT supports AI-backed solutions that can streamline certain processes and augment conventional tasks within R&D.