7 unwritten laws of R&D projects
It seems like there are some natural laws regarding R&D projects that are valid in some (your) organizations.
§ 1 Starting an R&D project
It is always easy to start a new R&D project even if the organization has implemented a rigid Gate or decision process. A little support from the top management or some words of urgency from the CEO, and you are off to a flying start.
§ 2 Reducing time to market
R&D projects don't possess a natural sense of emergency. However, this problem can be easily fixed by selling the product (to be developed) and promising quick deliveries to key customers.
§ 3 Increasing the output
By overloading the pipeline, R&D projects are forced to run faster and on meager resources – a brilliant way to increase the output.
§ 4 Time frame
Never set a time frame for an R&D project that the project can reach! If the time frame is realistic, the project members will just become lazy.
§ 5 Terminating projects
Terminating R&D projects is an unknown concept and uncharted waters. Nobody is interested in exploring those. It may end up proving that the Gate process or decision process isn't working. Which, of course, is rubbish.
§ 6 Project budget
Always slash the project budget in half – the best way to get teams to become innovative and reduce rework.
§ 7 Closing an R&D project
R&D projects can't be closed as there is always at least one extra activity that needs to be done. Instead, they should slowly peter out in the ocean of product maintenance.
If you by now haven't realized the irony in the laws, you are heading for a top position in an (your) organization.
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