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. The multifaceted R&D approach involves a lot of complex processes which need to be documented. Frameworks and workflows are one to the critical elements in the R&D workflows as it helps in formulating innovation and business strategy and allows researchers to explore the related functional domains. Here’s a comprehensive, not exhaustive list of R&D approaches that are assisting the department in mapping their goal, managing bulky databases, and collaborating with other business functions.
1. Failures Models and Effect Analysis (FMEA)
Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is one of the systematic, proactive R&D approaches for evaluating a process to identify where and how it might fail and to assess the relative impact of different failures, to identify the parts of the process that are most in need of change. The FMEA model allows researchers to analyze the process steps, failure mode, and cause and effects of the failure.
2. Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and House of Quality (HoQ)
Quality Function Deployment (QFD) and House of Quality (HOQ) is a structured R&D approach for defining customer requirements and translating design specifications or product control characteristics in the form of a planning matrix. QFD allows the charting of customer wants and technical how’s, which results in a better understanding of design relationships.
The approach helps in having a system in place for documenting research-based information and enables people to think together, increasing the overall productivity of the R&D function.
Read More about it here.
3. Road mapping
Road mapping is the strategic R&D approach of determining the actions, steps, and resources needed to take the initiative from vision to reality. It enables cross-functional dialogue, consensus building, and communication which, in turn driving forward change through planning-oriented platforms.
More can be read about the road mapping and various tools on this Gartner blog
4. Scenario Planning
Scenario planning is identifying a specific set of uncertainties, different “realities” of what might happen in the future of your business. It can help Research and Development (R&D) organizations identify future uncertainties, test the resilience of the existing or proposed R&D portfolio, and guide near- and long-term portfolio management decisions.
It is taking into account the possible known scenarios.
More resources to know about the scenario planning tool
5. Stage-Gate Model
A Stage-Gate Model, also known as the phase-gate process is a project management R&D approach in which an initiative or project is divided into distinct stages or phases, separated by decision points. At each gate, continuation is decided by a manager, steering committee, or other stakeholders.
The method provides a structured approach to a new product development. This takes into consideration stages like ideation, development, testing, and launch of a product.
This method is beneficial as it allows
- A structured approach to product development
- Collaboration between cross-functional teams
- Mitigate potential errors and loopholes in the project or product development cycle.
More information about this model can be read here.
6. TRIZ Model
TRIZ is the Russian acronym for the Theory of inventive problem-solving. In essence, the main ideology behind TRIZ is that there exists problems and solutions which are repeated across industries. TRIZ, also known as the theory of inventive problem solving, is a technique that fosters invention for project teams who have become stuck while trying to solve a business challenge. It provides data on similar past projects that can help teams find a new path forward.
Fundamentally it is a problem-solving tool that simulates creativity. It encourages innovators to look out for inspirations in the solutions for past problems or similar problems in parallel domains.
These models and R&D approaches assist the R&D professionals in taking strategically informed decisions through cross-functional data sharing, detailed analysis and interactive visualization. Though these models help streamlining the R&D processes and allow users to structure their research in the right direction, it is sometimes difficult to identify the right models.
XLSCOUT, an AI-based intelligence visualization tool help in structuring the patent database and provide interactive visualizations which act as a reference point for most of these models. The tool offers a variety of tech-driven solutions that enable your patent searches and other IP workflows more efficient. These can be easily integrated with existing systems to further streamline the processes
For more information on how XLSCOUT can help in strategizing decision making through its advanced algorithms, reach out to us at: firstname.lastname@example.org