Progress of R&D Organizations in Strategy Development

Organization of R & D: An Evaluation of Best PracticesFew R&D organizations in India have a R&D strategy or have established the conditions required for developing a R&D strategy. For example, few R&D organisations have perceived a R&D strategy as a way to solve a problem. Many large R&D organisations do not have a R&D planning group, and organizations do not do R&D strategic planning. Also, few R&D found a way to get strategic marketing done. Finally, in most companies R&D strategic planning do not have the active support of senior management.

In addition, if one looks closely at the strategic goals of those R&D that have them, one also finds that many of these goals were arrived analytically. That is, many of the strategic goals of such R&D organisations have are intuitively obvious. For example, most of the strategic goals that organizations have formulated are similar and quite predictable

1) to ward out fundamental threats to the company’s businesses.
(2) to comply with government regulations.

Few R&D organizations have conducted benchmarking their technologies to competitors’ technologies. Few R&D organizations carry out technology forecasting studies aimed at understanding

1) what technological changes may be occurring in the next 5 to 10 years and
2) what those technological changes may mean.
R&D Strategy & Organization: Managing Technical Change in Dynamic Contexts 
Even those R&D organizations that have made significant progress in an R&D strategy admit that they still have much to do to improve the planning process. For example, the R&D organization may have a R&D strategy, but the top management does not accept this R&D strategy. Many R&D departments develop a R&D strategy, but they do not find a way to integrate their R&D strategy with the marketing and manufacturing strategies in the companies. In addition, the R&D strategy can be altered at the whim of anyone who at a later date becomes involved in the planning process without necessarily informing any one else about the changes in the plans.

In summary, some R&D organizations have made significant progress in developing an R&D strategy. Most R&D organizations, however, have barely started developing an R&D strategy. The immediate challenge facing most R&D organizations, therefore, has to do with first establishing the preconditions required for developing an R&D strategy. After doing this, they will then be able to meaningfully deal with issues as to what the R&D priorities should be and how R&D resources should be allocated.