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

Improving Technical capability for research and engineering employees is a key element in developing talent and driving company growth.  We are interested in learning how other companies are investing and developing research and engineering talent, how the impact of that training is measured and what is the culture of the RD&E community toward non-mandatory technical capability building.
Our organization wants to benchmark with IRI peers regarding corporate fellows, the highest technical level within the organization, less than 1% of technical organization will reach this status, specifically regarding salary, bonus and role expectations. 
An IRI member organization wants to know if other companies have their own external networks of experts in different topics. We want to explore the value of having a confidential crowdsourcing group of individuals and how it is done.
By studying the historical challenges associated with open innovation, it is possible not only to develop counter-measures to the top failure modes but also tailor the communication plan to the stakeholders and practitioners.
As a large industrial corporation, we are eager to improve employee development to maintain a dynamic workforce. We currently have a formalized development program that offers social events, continuing education, awareness of business and corporate functions, and employee development. We are seeking information as to what companies do to set up and support formal mentorship programs.
Throughout the year, IRI will use the results to generate benchmarking surveys that will address the membership’s key challenges and get you the answers you need to make informed decisions.
One of the most commonly reported innovation metrics is R&D spending as a percent of sales. However, it’s not always clear what expenses are counted towards that total. Your participation in this survey will help the IRI community benchmark what common practices are in building these metrics so that we have a better understanding of how comparable these numbers may be.
This week we asked our members about the innovation teams/structures that organizations have in place and their governance.
We asked our community to submit examples of job descriptions their company uses when seeking applicants on job sites. We obtained descriptions for "Director of Technology & Innovation," "Senior Director of Research and Development," "Process Consultant," "Director of External Innovation," "General Manager, Innovation Management," and "Manager, New Prodcut Development." If you would like to submit, please email Erika Toman.
Innovation comes with many iterations and discovery, especially when exploring early stage technology. We’d like to know how companies allocate their resources for such early stage projects along with the breakdown of using internal versus external resources.
Design Thinking Methodology is increasingly a standard process for product innovation and design; the key essence is empathy for the user. Although the process includes a research phase, it is typically about user needs, and does not describe a way to include new materials, technologies, or methods of making. We want to benchmark our members to determine if this is a common gap, or if there are best practices in this area that can be collected for wider dissemination amongst members.
We are seeking advice, best practices, and emerging systems & tools in the area of project and program management.
Arkema is in the market for a document management tool that the R&D community can use to store, search and retrieve in-house technical know-how. There seems to be a lot of products on the market that have such capabilities. We are interested in learning how your organization has tackled this challenge.
Companies often use new product sales (sometimes referred to as new product vitality) as a measure of R&D effectiveness.  This metric is often reported as the ratio of new product sales (sales during the initial x years of sales) to total sales of the company or business unit.  In different markets and industries there are different product life cycles and different times over which a product is considered "new".  The time frame a product is considered 'new' varies (the 'x' in the prior equation) to reflect this.
Does your company struggle with getting the correct allocation of resources across the portfolio?  One aspect of portfolio management is how to spread your resource across the various R&D time horizons. 
Assessing the value of Innovation is a necessary and critical aspect of Portfolio Management.  This survey is intended to uncover best practices to characterizing benefits proposed, realized and impediments to doing this in a consistent manner.

Survey: Let's Talk About NPD
As a part of larger scale assessment, Hormel Foods would like to understand specific nuances associated with New Product Development (NPD).

Survey: What is Your Vitality Index?
Two IRI organizations asked R&D leaders to share how their organization defines the Vitality Index, what is a typical target and how this metric is used.

Survey: How Do You Align Your Technical Ladder?
A survey conducted to capture benchmarks in implementing a technical ladder.

Survey: Overal R&D Structure
An IRI member company asks whether the organizational structure they have around new product development and R&D is atypical.

Survey: Dashboard Metrics
Sonoco is currently in the process of updating dashboard metrics to track progress against innovation goals for the company and is seeking feedback on what priority metrics your company tracks to benchmark industry best practices.

Survey: Aligning Expectations for an Innovation Process
An IRI member company is resetting its innovation process and is seeking peer information to help align expectations with internal stake holders.

Survey: Identifying, Developing, and Launching Market-Based Solutions
LORD Corporation is seeking input on how other companies identify, develop, and launch market-based solutions.  Their need for continued growth is driving teams to re-evaluate how they develop, launch, and propagate "1 to many" solutions vs. their historic model of strategic and niche "1 to 1" solutions. 

Survey: What is the career development structure of your R&D organization?
FM Global would like to benchmark with IRI peers to learn what the career development structure of various research organizations look like.  The impact of social media as well as shorter tenures influence employee expectations for mobility and we all want to stay relevant in the marketplace.


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General Content
Wednesday August 21, 2019 8:45am
Boeing's Business of Innovation Conference in partnership with IRI Monday October 28, 2019 DAY 1 1:30PM Innovation 201: Bootcamp 4:45PM Reception 5:30PM Adjourn for day Tuesday October 29, 2019 DAY 2...
General Content
Wednesday August 21, 2019 8:45am
Featured Speakers: Simonsen Amber 200x200.png Amber Simsonsen Director, Guest Product Development & Delivery Alaska Airlines Bushnell Dennis 200x200.png Dennis Bushnell Chief Scientist NASA...