Because of the evolutionary and agile nature of most RD&I activities many organizations forgo the creation of a strategic development plan, for fear that it will become irrelevant as the project evolves and inevitable changes are required.
.....THIS IS A MISTAKE.....
The successful development of any new product, process or technology often hinges on the establishment of a solid RD&I plan to provide the clarity, agility, and conviction necessary to realize your development aspirations.
Within Transtech’s Idea Hub our 5 step Jump Start Program has been designed specifically to set you up for success by improving development efficiency, while ensuring that your idea has both technical feasibility and the potential to succeed in the intended market.
Establish clear and measurable RD&I project goals and objectives. Be clear to distinguish between the overall project goals and the technical objectives necessary to achieve them and determine how you will know the project is progressing or has been successful.
Establish the scope of the project. For example, are you developing a prototype, minimally viable product, full commercial product, etc. Just as importantly, identify what is outside the scope of the project.
You will have limited resources, so it is crucial to keep them on track and to deploy them in areas directly related to what you are trying to achieve.To monitor this incorporate periodic project reviews to evaluate your progress.
An RD&I project plan should make it clear what needs to be done and by who. You should also establish who is accountable and who will report to and who.
Establish development activities as clearly as possible, with estimates noted about the required resources, duration and sequence.
If applicable, segregate the project into Development Phases, identifying when the completion of a specific phase can lead to the initial commercialization of your product and/or services
Be sure not to underestimate the magnitude of effort required by respecting the level of uncertainty and incorporating sufficient time for unexpected problem solving.
Determine how you will practically and consistently communicate with your development team and other stakeholders.
Determine how frequently this will happen.
Determine where and how Research and Development activities and information will be recorded.
To the best of your ability determine the potential risks and uncertainties you may encounter during development that may delay the project or stand in the way of success.
Alongside these, ascertain potential actions or solutions that may be implemented to mitigate these risks or resolve these uncertainties.
Create a “Risk Log” that can be reviewed and updated during project reviews.
Although it can be difficult during the early stages of planning, it is imperative to establish a reasonable cost base for your RD&I, that reflects its true costs and efforts, recognizing that the path to the final solution will be met by several obstacles.
Once a reasonable cost base is established determine how you will fund your Research and Development.
Will it be funded internally?
Will you seek investment?
Will you seek government funding?
Will it be part of a commercial job?
Will it be a combination of any or all the above?