Community Forum

Community Forum accepts member submitted questions and requests that members take a brief moment and reply with their viewpoint.  All of the responses will be compiled and sent out in an email to all members within three business days.  All questions and responses will be archived on this page for future reference for IRI members only. Community Forum is a members-only benefit of IRI Membership.  Please login to view Community Forum discussions topics.

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Recent Discussions

Our organization is seeking to update and improve our existing technical career system and advancement process. We would appreciate any insights or feedback from the IRI community regarding dual career ladders, systems, and associated processes and documentation.
Our organization spends a lot of money on R&D and patents.  Each year, we determine how much our R&D projects and patents contribute to sales compared to previous years.  We are interested in comparing how our organization compares with other organizations.
Part Two - Most approaches to portfolio management require some way of inputting the effort hours spent on a project.  Some companies require employees to report their time and attribute it to projects, others allow managers to estimate it for an entire organization, and others don’t track at all.  We are looking to understand how different companies approach the topic of time estimating and tracking.  
Most approaches to portfolio management require some way of inputting the effort hours spent on a project.  Some companies require employees to report their time and attribute it to projects, others allow managers to estimate it for an entire organization, and others don’t track at all.  We are looking to understand how different companies approach the topic of time estimating and tracking.
Our organization recently went through a career ladder revamp and the last piece in this project is to make sure we have the appropriate titles for the laboratory technical support staff.  Please take a minute to let us know about the titles your organization uses for this group.  
We need some help identifying best and typical peer practices with respect to information (library) services.  Please take two minutes and participate in the following survey to let us know how your information service function is structured, funded and which information providers do you use.
Due to the inherent uncertainties involved in creating new products, it is difficult to predict how long a given project will take.  R&D organizations may become complacent when launch targets are missed and projected gate dates are frequently reset. R&D personnel may adopt strategies to deal with delays (like switching their focus to other projects) rather than addressing the sources of delay.  How does your organization consider the issues of R&D speed?
As part of on-going efforts to build a digital transformation (DXN) community, IRI is engaging its members to explore different aspects of DXN. We would like to engage IRI members in a brief survey on the evolution and adoption of advanced analytics (AA) as part of this initiative. AA refers to computational methods and tools to transform “big” data into actionable insight to enable better decision-making and mitigate future risks. This survey is specifically interested in the use of AA, including A.I., in research and development (R&D) functions and applications. Examples may include - advanced applied statistics and data discovery; physics-based modelling; computational chemistry/formulation; cognitive, predictive, or autonomous operations, et.
Technical Leader readiness is a gap found in many companies.  We are looking to improve our existing development program which focuses on building the leadership skills necessary for top technical talent to succeed at higher levels in our organization (e.g. manager level, often referred to as “Fellows”). We are interested in learning how other companies are developing research and engineering talent for senior roles, and if your company has a program for this purpose.
A valuable and highly limited resource in most companies are innovation project leaders, whose critical role is to coordinate one or more innovation projects. Across all innovation technologies, companies must balance resources to assure the best possible return on innovation. Balancing includes understanding the capability and capacity of an essential resource: the innovation project leader.
Can you recommend any suppliers of Project & Portfolio Management (PPM) systems, particularly those that are configurable enough to suit the range of different types of project in an R&D organisation? We would like a system that will allow multiple types of StageGate™ processes to be created and projects to be value selected and managed in the most effective way for all stakeholders. 
New product development (NPD) involves many estimates and assumptions in determining what financial outcome a portfolio of projects will deliver. We would like to understand what companies consider when assessing confidence in delivering that expected size of prize and how certain factors are considered to determine a risk-adjusted size of prize.
Long term profitability and viability of a research and development facility requires effective stewardship of maintenance activities and spend.  We’d like to know how companies allocate resources to routine maintenance of their research and development sites and equipment.
Our organization holds an annual R&D meeting for our team once a year which includes a presentation by an engaging speaker. We are looking for fresh ideas for this presentation and would like to know your speaker recommendations.
The laws, rules, and regulations of the markets we play in are constantly changing.  How does your R&D team and greater organization handle this work load?  Are certain functional groups responsible for specific compliance and product stewardship work streams? 
Our organization conducts an Innovation and Creativity Workshop to foster an innovative culture and entrepreneurial spirit for the entire R&D leadership team every other year.  We are looking for fresh ideas for this workshop and would like to know your recommendations of programs and/or vendors you have found successful. Have you used a consultant, university, author, etc. that you highly recommend for an Innovation and Creative Problem-Solving Workshop? If yes, please share your recommendation:
Companies make choices between investments in R&D, productivity, tech service and the plant, or choices between different types of R&D.  To make these choices they balance the risk, return, and resources from each area and compare the rates of return they expect to get from each of these investments.  For R&D, this analysis is complicated because not all projects succeed, not all R&D expenses are devoted towards new products, some projects cannibalize existing sales, and project life cycles vary.   For every dollar of R&D spend, how many dollars does your company expect to return?  

Explore Community Topics

Below are samples of Community Forum resources. To see all of our historical data, please utilize the IRI Learning Center

Alliances & Collaborations

Finance & Resources


Intellectual Asset Management

Knowledge Management


New Product Development

Project & Portfolio Management

Strategic Planning

Organization & Culture

Talent Management & Human Resources

Tools & Techniques


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