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  1. 1. Balancing the creativity need and the business need of a R&D or Innovation project with project management Soumen De, PMP * Key Words: Novelty, Innovation, Project Management, R&D Projects Abstract Innovation is the lifeblood of any good organization that wants to stay in business and remain profitable. Successful completion of R&D project will drive innovation into an organization. In the long run, the only reliable security for any company is the ability to innovate better, faster and longer than competition. Apple's management has frequently said that its real business isn't phones, its innovation. But innovation needs to be managed well and carried out within the constraints of time and budget to make it a worthwhile proposition for the organization. But how long does it take to come up with a creative idea? How a novel idea would be created by constraining the researchers to think with time and budget constraints. Are the well-established processes of project management as espoused by the PMBOK relevant for innovation projects? Project Manager (PM) often finds it difficult to drive project tasks that involve high levels of creativity, which by their very nature will become very difficult to monitor and control. Again project manager is challenged to quantify risks of the R&D projects. The traditional risk of a R&D project is lack of clarity of the initial scope. Researchers are usually inclined to think that the risks that should concern them are only those that are technical because those are the only ones that can impact them and their performance metrics. But would managing those risks alone will guarantee success of an innovation project? This paper tries to bring out some concepts and learning from real world experiences and proposes a six step project management framework that could be applied to effectively manage and accelerate the innovation process given those practical constraints. Invention versus Innovation A Google search will spit out tons of descriptions which describes how innovation is different from invention. Here is one simple description which differentiates those two terms: INVENTION: Conception of a new and useful article, machine, composition, or process.
  2. 2. INNOVATION: Introduction of a new idea into the marketplace in the form of a new product, service, or an improvement in organization or process. There are several examples of great inventions that generated little or no returns to their inventors. In 1947 some scientists at the AT&T laboratories created the first transistor in the world. The invention was obviously patented, but the organization was not able to find promptly an application for the new device. They did an outstanding job with the invention, but failed to develop the innovation. Precisely for that reason in 1952 AT&T decided to license out the transistor. For $ 25000 companies like Texas Instruments, Sony and IBM acquired a technology that would produce billions of revenues in the coming years. Xerox was the first company in the world to develop a personal computer (years before Apple or IBM), a graphical oriented monitor, a word processing software, a workstation, a laser printer, a local area network, a hand-held mouse, and the list goes on. Yet it profited from almost none of such breakthrough inventions. Different companies can be rated into innovation and Invention scale as shown in figure 1. The bottom line is Invention is great and should be done, but Innovation is what gives company the commercial success. Figure 1: Invention orientation versus innovation orientation of different companies.
  3. 3. Innovation: Can it be managed? A R&D project undertaken by an enterprise will convert the idea (invention) into a commercial proposition (innovation). As the name R&D implies: R-Research is supposed to produce the new ideas or invention and D-Development is supposed to take the output of research and make it into a commercially viable product or service. In other words “D-Development” process converts invention into innovation. The business context in which we operate can be best described by four terms –  Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, and Ambiguity (VUCA). Under this scenario if a company turnarounds research idea into a commercial proposition faster, the better it would be placed to sustain profitability. This is only possible if the company follows a structured process to carry out innovation. A simple process to carry out innovation can be represented as shown in figure 2. Figure 2: Simple three phased process to manage innovation The cycle time from Phase 1 to Phase 3 is getting shorter every year because of competitive pressures and VUCA factors mentioned earlier. Can this simple process shown in figure 2 be program managed to deliver innovation results within the constraints of scope, time and cost. Can the “Researcher” in Phase 1 come out with a viable idea within a finite time? Can the “Engineer” in Phase 2 convert the viable idea from Phase 1, into a prototype and then pilot it quickly to demonstrate business potential? Concept Generation Implementation & Integration Socialization & Marketing • Development • Prototype Development • Piloting • Business Case Demonstration • Landscape analysis • Idea Generation • Idea Evaluation • IP Generation • Production • Market Launch • Change request for future product • Sustain Competitive advantage Phase 1 Phase 2 Phase 3
  4. 4. Will the “Sales and Marketing” person in Phase 3 be able to get a promising customer response by commercializing the product prototyped in Phase2? There are no easy answers to the questions highlighted above. Matter gets more complicated, when we realize that the Key Performance Indicators (KPI’s) on which a Researcher will be measured and the key motivating factors for a Researcher may be completely different from the Engineer. It is also a fact that the educational background of Researcher (typically Masters or Phd degree) will be always different from that of Engineer (typically Bachelors or Master degree). Another layer of challenge will come from the fact that the resources (Researchers, Engineers) PM has to manage will have a dual responsibility towards the functional manager and towards the PM. In a typical “Big” organization (say > 100,000 employees), the “Concept Generation” stage is usually managed by an independent Research function (though the function may be called R&D, Science Lab etc.), the “Implementation & Integration” stage is managed by the Engineering function and the “Socialization and Marketing” is done by the Sales and Marketing function. In a “Mid-size” organization Phase 1 and Phase 2 usually gets folded into one function (may be known by different names, such as innovation cell, incubation center, Rapid Prototyping center etc.) and Phase 3 may be still handled by Sales and Marketing. Dilemma of a Project Manager (PM) Managing an Innovation Project Can a PM who is empowered to drive the innovation project be able to meet such seemingly non overlapping expectations of the team members and still accelerate turnaround time of innovation process? Will the Project Management processes that PM will adopt accelerate Innovation or stifle Creativity?   Process tells people what to do—the actions, the order, and the expected results. A good process should have built in inspection, monitoring and control system that will acknowledge deviation from the ‘expected’ results.  If the results are not as anticipated, the process is analyzed and altered to bring its results back to acceptable values. Neither the end product nor the granular breakdown of the steps will be known at the start of a typical radical Innovation project. If the end product is known or steps are absolutely clear at the beginning than people (both internal and external) will not trust the ‘novelty’ of the new product. Besides, the KPI’s for Researchers are not about compliance with the processes, but about churning out a ‘novel’ idea. So they would not care about the processes proposed by the PM. So the skeptics would say, ‘Process’ not only stifles creativity, but also innovation, passion, imagination and creativity—as it should; otherwise, it would fail to serve a purpose of blooming a ‘novel’ idea. John Scully of Apple had rightly observed: “Management and creativity might even be considered antithetical
  5. 5. states. While management demands consensus, control, certainty, and the status quo, creativity thrives on the opposite: instinct, uncertainty, freedom and iconoclasm” [5] Can the Innovation be managed better by adopting PM processes? We know that a project is temporary in that it has a defined beginning and end in time, and therefore defined scope and resources.  A project is unique in that it is not a routine operation, but a specific set of operations designed to accomplish a singular goal. A project team often includes people who don’t usually work together – sometimes from different organizations and across multiple geographies. This makes the team a highly matrixed team. Besides, all of them must be expertly managed to deliver the on-time, on-budget results, learning and integration that organizations need. The key to adopt a process to manage innovation is to acknowledge that the “ideas” have to move through an ‘innovation funnel’ to make it to commercialization [3]. This is shown in figure 3. Figure 3 – Innovation funnel to take an idea into commercialization In figure 3, each ‘square’ represents an idea with its shade representing the amount of ‘lack of clarity’ or ‘fuzziness’ in the idea (color white representing that the idea has zero clarity to black representing idea having maximum clarity). As can be seen, in Phase 1, there will be many ideas especially those ideas which lacks clarity. It will be at times Researcher’s ‘free-expression-of-thought’ ideas and they might be extremely attached to those ideas because they are closer to their primary skills and knowledge areas. E.g. a Researcher who has a good background on Bayesian decision process will have a tendency to
  6. 6. propose ideas which utilizes Bayesian methods. While acknowledging those biases/preferences, PM has to still maximize the number of good ideas generated in Phase 1, and then follow an effective pruning process to take one or two ideas through the funnel into Phase 2. In Phase 2, the idea needs to be rapidly prototyped and risks uncovered. If necessary, the idea can go through several rounds of iteration with the team in Phase 1. Once it is robust enough and demonstrates business potential, the idea is pushed through the funnel for mass production and commercialization. Case Study – A Framework to Accelerate Innovation using Project Management Processes Different companies have adopted different processes to accelerate this development process. E.g. GE, Motorola, Kodak etc. have a staged gate process to manage the innovation funnel [3]. Based on real life experience, a generalized project management framework is presented here that will accelerate the innovation process. To illustrate, let us consider a Product Company, let’s call it XYZ Company which is facing stiff competition and operating under volatile market condition and wants to maximize the sales and profitability by developing a ‘new’ robust and accurate demand forecasting application. This company wants to get this out real fast to address present challenges and improve profitability. Benefits that XYX Co. will get from (new) Demand Forecasting Application Improved delivery performance Lower levels of inventory Optimal capacity planning, hence lower operating costs Development of this application can be considered an innovation project where an ‘absolutely new’ forecasting tool will be developed to provide competitive advantage to the company. XYZ identifies a project manager (PM) and challenges her to develop this demand based forecasting application with constraints on time and budget.
  7. 7. The XYZ project needs resources with strong mathematical and statistical knowledge to develop data mining algorithms that will utilize ‘Big Data’ coming from sales, production and finance databases. Once the algorithms are finalized they need to be rapidly prototyped and validated with enterprise wide data. This prototyping of the algorithm into a tool/application requires programming, business knowledge and project management skills. Once the tool demonstrates value in the prototype environment, it will be made into an enterprise wise production tool and leaders from marketing, sales and production team can start using it actively for making business decisions. Figure 4 shows the project resources and the KPI’s for members from the three phases. The challenge for the PM would be able to pull it together given the conflicting expectations, which is reflected in their KPI’s, from team members and stakeholders. Figure 4 – Different expectations from team members of different phase Proposed below is a project management framework (described in Step1 through Step 6) inspired from the project management principles, that the PM of XYX Co can use to accelerate this innovation project. While this paper demonstrates how this framework can be applied for XYX project, this can be easily applied to any other innovation project that a PM would be called upon to lead in future in their respective company.
  8. 8. Step1: Generate Project Definition  The PM should first identify whether it is a business innovation or technology innovation project. This will help her to identify the key stakeholders, timing priorities and identify the ‘Big Picture” of the project to keep the team together. Business Process Innovation [1] This describes how company creates, sells and delivers value to the customer. Business change can produce innovation in three distinct ways. Value proposition – What is sold and delivered to the market. Supply Chain – How it is created and delivered to the market. Target Customer – To whom it is delivered. Technology Innovation [1] The common perception is that a good innovation is always a technology innovation. Technology change can produce innovation in three distinct ways. Product and Service offerings – A new product or feature to cater to a customer need. Process Technologies - A new process or improvement in existing process to manufacture the product. Enabling Technologies – A new method or tool that can be applied in a suitable way to cater to a customer need. The XYX Co “Demand Forecasting Application” development falls under Technology Innovation category.  The PM needs to then understand if this is “Push” type or a “Pull” type innovation project. The “buy-in” from top management will always be stronger for the “Pull” type of innovation project. Push Innovation: Here the Researcher goes through existing literature and presents some fuzzy or ‘high-level’ idea of the technology that needs to be developed for a possible business benefit and requests for organizational resources to achieve that. Here the feasibility of the new idea is not very clear and needs some time to get concretized. Pull Innovation: Here the Management carries out some external environment scanning or competitive benchmarking and proposes development of a new technology. Here the management is already committed to the project deliverables and is ready to provide organizational resources to support the project. The feasibility of the new idea and relative documents are relatively clearer than the push method. The XYX demand forecasting tool hence falls under Pull Innovation project.
  9. 9.  In order to maintain the focus on the project and bind the team with a common ‘vision’ the PM needs seek a common understand of key business questions then use that to develop a project charter as shown in figure 5. For innovation project, Heilmeier questions [15] can help in asking key questions to allow the PM to develop a project charter. This will make it closely aligned with the business need which will then prevent the project from getting derailed in later stages. Figure 5 Heilmeier Questions and a high level project plan  PM needs to facilitate the “Idea generation” and “Idea selection” process. Some common idea generation skills are brainstorming and lateral thinking process. Reference [6] provide an exhaustive list of those techniques. PM needs to identify the filtering mechanism used by the organization that takes selected idea from proof of concept development stage all the way through prototyping to commercialization. Many organizations use an “innovation funnel” (figure 3) approach to filter the idea to take to commercialization. The different stages use typically go/no-go criteria to take the idea forward. 1. What are you trying to do? Articulate your objectives using absolutely no jargon. 2. How is it done today, and what are the limits of current practice? 3. What's new in your approach and why do you think it will be successful? 4. Who cares? 5. If you're successful, what difference will it make? 6. What are the risks and the payoffs? 7. How much will it cost? 8. How long will it take? 9. What are the midterm and final "exams" to check for success? Heilmeier Questions Project Charter
  10. 10. Step 2 - Project Organization and Staffing Any organization will always try to deploy more resources for ongoing operations and much less for innovations as represented in figure 6. So a PM needs to understand how many resources would be made available for the innovation project. Whether the project team members are fully dedicated or also have functional responsibility needs to be understood. Is the project made visibility enough, so the members get a sense of ‘pride’ by getting associated with this project? Key need is to acquire people who can carry out idea generation that combine technical knowledge with creative personality traits. PM must act as sponsors and orchestrators and use her influencing, networking and political skills to “fish-out” those people from their functional responsibility and put them as dedicated resources for the innovation project . A case in point is the project team which developed Tata Nano under the leadership of Girish Wagh who was leveraging the leadership support of Ratan Tata.[7] The team selection was done mostly by an internal talent search process where young and high potential individuals were identified. To influence negotiation with functional managers to relieve their “high potential” staff, suitable “hype” was created, wherein getting included in the Nano project was considered to be an honor. Figure 6- Resources deployed by any typical organization The team structure on any typical innovation project will have a structure as shown in figure.7 [6]. Most of the resources will be supporting the routine operational activities of the organization while a very few will be Figure 7- Structure of the Innovation team in relation to the organization structure
  11. 11. made fully dedicated for the innovation project. Hence Innovation team will comprise of “Shared Staff” who will have a functional responsibility along with project responsibility plus a “Dedicated Team” who will be 100 % committed to the project. The organization driving innovation also provides a resource called “Detached Analyst” or “Technical Fellow”. This person will be from senior rank who will not have direct people management or project responsibility. However this person will be a key person who will provide technical and non-technical mentoring to PM and help remove any ‘roadblocks’ that may arise during progress of the project, by influencing the management and other stakeholders. The PM needs to forge a strong partnership between Shared Staff and Dedicated Team using management processes, personal network and strong interpersonal skills as shown in figure 7.
  12. 12. Step 3 – Project Management and Leadership As we know the PM has to deliver the scope of the project and have the responsibility to satisfy the different needs: tasks needs, team needs and individual needs of both dedicated and shared team shown earlier in figure 4. Given the conflicting needs, PM can address them effectively by demonstrating a range of interpersonal skills [8]such as Leadership, Team building Motivation Communication Influencing Decision making Political and cultural awareness Negotiation Trust building Conflict management Coaching There will be another leadership challenge the PM has to overcome. On one hand PM needs to shortlist ideas quickly, while on the other hand the PM needs to provide sufficient time to Researchers to come out ideas which are highly creative. Researchers would also like to publish their research findings (or algorithms) in prestigious conferences or journal by publishing them as technical papers. Off course they would also like to create Intellectual Property (IP’s) with their ideas such as patents, copyrights or defensive publications. In order to generate ideas effectively and quickly, PM needs to challenge the Researchers to come with ideas related to incremental innovation rather than radical innovations. Another way to expedite creation of new ideas would be to explore collaboration opportunities with external agents keeping in mind how it fits with company’s strategy. Figure 8- Four ways to collaborate with external agents to expedite innovation Company’s strategy will guide who will have the ownership on IP developed with collaborators. Collaboration networks can be categorized with two dimensions [4]. The degree to which membership is made open to anyone who wants to join (Open versus Closed) the collaboration. The second dimension
  13. 13. is in the form of governance (Hierarchical versus flat) that the organization wants to adopt with the collaborator. This is represented in figure 8. Proper Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) needs to be formulated on how the IP generated from the collaboration would be shared. One way to keep the IP ownership and retain competitive advantage with the organization would be to ask the collaborator to develop generic methods, which can then be used by Phase 2 people to integrate in to the enterprise system. E.g. for project XYZ, since speed is the essence here, the “Elite Circle” would be the best collaboration approach. One way to protect the IP for XYZ would be make a MoU that will ask the collaborator to develop a generic forecasting method based on three independent data sources having a predefined data structure. Once the collaborator hands over the ‘generic’ forecasting model to the “Integrators” in Phase 2, they will map the three independent data sources to sales data, production data and finance data to tailor the demand forecasting application for the XYZ shown in figure 9. Figure 9- Converting a generic solution from collaborator to make it a business specific solution In order to accelerate the idea generation process and to make sure the idea will have less chances to ‘fail’ when handed over to Phase 2 team, the PM can involve the stakeholders from Phase 2 (who would integrate the application) and Phase 3 (who would the end users of this application) early into the project. Figure 10- Introduction of “pull” into the innovation process to minimize risk of failure
  14. 14. E.g. for XYZ project the Technology Integrators or Engineers responsible for Phase 2 can tell upfront to the Researchers to avoid using any third party software (e.g. R, Weka [12.13]) and only use the company approved licensed software (e.g. MINITAB, SAS[14], MATLAB etc.) to develop the statistical methods for forecasting. By doing this the cycle time to integrate the ‘proposed methods’ into enterprise systems reduces and the technology risk associated with integration also gets minimized. The Phase 3 stakeholders can give early inputs on how the application GUI, that will wrap the algorithms or business logic developed by Phase 1 should look like. Phase 3 can also suggest how the result report file and result dashboard screen look like. Then Phase 2 people can start developing the mock GUI and start procuring necessary software (if required) ahead of time while Phase 1 team is still in the idea development stage. Using proper leadership, negotiation and influencing skills and navigating through the organizational politics a PM can accelerate the innovation process by generating necessary “Pull” into the process as represented in figure 10. In fact many companies (e.g. GE) have two groups that work closely with each other to accelerate innovation. Those two groups are called Distributed Innovation Group (DIG) and Enterprise Integration Group (EIG) [2] Role of DIG – Promoting innovation by scouting for new ideas, using networking, participating in brainstorming and problem solving scenarios. Role of EIG – Managing the corporate portfolio of integration activities and initiatives. Serves as a corporation’s center of expertise in process management and improvement. To satisfy their intellectual stimulus and get recognition in external world, the Researcher’s would like to publish papers in leading journal or conference. Here the PM need to work with Researchers to present the research findings in a such a way that it does not reveal the business critical details but presents the ‘research’ contents in a high level or normalized way thereby retaining the competitive advantage gained from the research. Many companies have an approval committee that will go through the research paper to assess whether any company sensitive information has been divulged in the paper before giving a formal consent to publish outside. PM needs to make sure Researcher complies with the expectations of the approval board before s/he prepares to present the research findings to the outside world. Step 4 – Problem Solving and Rapid Prototyping Once the ‘Pull’ process in enabled, the PM should be able to test out the presence of technical risk, if any by creating a flexible platform and staffing it with people who can work closely with Researchers from Phase 1. The mantra for the successful rapid prototyping would be to “Fail Early and Fail Cheap (FEFC)”. If the technology proposed by Researchers is not feasible to implement then a flag should be raised much sooner than later. In the XYZ project, if the Researchers assumed only structured data to come from data source 1 ( financial data in figure 9), but in reality the enterprise financial data can be
  15. 15. both structured and unstructured, then the forecasting model would fail to predict accurately. The Phase 2 team should quickly test this out in the prototyping test bed and communicate this back to Researchers. With each such iteration, the technical risk progressively reduces, the ‘novelty need’ comes down, the funding requirement to integrate into the enterprise scales up and the potential of the tool to generate business benefit goes up. As the technical risks come down, the business risk may start going up. This is multidimensional information with a temporal dimension and PM needs to communicate this effectively to the project sponsors and key stakeholders to show that they are making progress and seek organization resources to mitigate those risks to accelerate integration of the Phase 1 output into enterprise system. The PM can use a ‘bubble’ chart representation (figure 11) to communicate this information to different stakeholders at monthly reviews. Darker shade and larger diameter of the bubble indicates higher business benefit and higher funding requirement for integration. Appropriate labels can be placed on the bubble to present this information quantitatively to key stakeholders. Figure 11 - Four dimensional representations for communication with stakeholders
  16. 16. Step 5 – Senior Management Review and Control The Phase 1 stage may be internally divided into one or two more sub steps, and same may be the case with Phase 2 and Phase 3 stages. PM needs to seek Senior Management and Detached Analyst (figure 7) support through regular management review and control.This will make sure necessary course corrections are done if the project steers away from the management vision. Different companies carrying out innovation projects have different names given to these management review processes. E.g. they are called Toll gate process in GE, Gate process in GM etc. Gate Processes emphasizes identification and proper management of risk, availability of sufficient funding, clarification on the project plan for next phase, which in turn enables the PM to ensure a formal sign-off before the project to moves it to the next phase. A typical toll gate process will look like as described below and shown in figure 12. At each stage the team member prepares a presentation in a given template then seeks Go/No-Go approval from the senior management [10]. Tollgate 1 –Conceptual and Preliminary Design Tollgate 2 –Experimental prototyping, testing, simulation, analysis, and system-level design refinement Tollgate 3 –Design refinement and performance validation via prototype testing Tollgate 4: Pre-Production Review The PM needs to make sure the team members whole heartedly embraces the philosophy of the gate process as a way of getting things done and measuring project progress and success. If the Toll Gate 1 is successfully approved by the Senior Management, then PM can motivate the team by giving a pat on the back to the Phase 1 team members and probably make it an occasion to celebrate this achievement. PM should work with the functional manager to make sure that timely completion of Toll Gate should be an important performance milestone for the team members on the innovation project. A tactful PM will carefully play this card (Completion of Gate in agreed time) to inject speed into the innovation process. Figure 12 – Toll Gate Process to accelerate innovation [11]
  17. 17. Step 6 – Real Time Monitoring and Mid- Course Control As the technology is being developed, results may not be in-line with the expected results. Some of the assumptions that were assumed to be true may get violated. E.g., one of the starting assumptions for XYZ can be that the financial data collected in the enterprise database will not change with time. But sometimes, due to dispute in financial transactions or change in $ exchange rates, the data captured in the financial data base will change. If the assumptions change the results will not make sense. The PM needs to continuously scan for deviations from such assumptions and investigate whether technology course corrections needs to happen. Small deviations can be addressed by updating project management plan. However large deviations needs to be communicated to key stakeholders and a consensus needs to be achieved on whether those deviations can be best addressed by adjustment of project management plan or by winding up the present project and starting it all over again as a new project as shown in figure 13. Sometime starting all over again has more merit than providing Band-Aid fixes. But PM needs to make sure she gets to this decision point (of starting all over again) fast enough before lots of organization investment has been made. Refer FEFC mantra of Step 4. As mentioned earlier, each of the Innovation project phase ends with a go/no-go criteria, when the phase’s results get reviewed by the stakeholders applicable for that phase The PM needs to have both the technical and business skills to identify what would be a good time to review those results while close the present project phase. Reviewing results which does not appear promising can ruin PM credibility while waiting too long to get credible results may invite anxiety and suspicion from stakeholders .From Researchers point of view, reviewing too early will annoy the them as they do not want to be bounded but remain creative, while reviewing too late may lead to ugly surprises where Researcher may completely miss out on the business angle. Hence PM needs to walk on a tight rope, neither being perceived as a micro-manager nor being looked as totally disengaged. PM should have a good technical and business skill to make sure she knows what to highlight at which toll gate. E.g. novelty should be highlighted during initial phases while business impact should be highlighted during later phases of the project.
  18. 18. Figure 13 – Closed Loop Process to handle deviations Summary There are not so many literatures on applying project management principles for a R&D project. This is because of the general notion on how can one plan certainty of the R&D project outcome when the project by its very definition needs one to explore the possible results. Many organizations wrongly assume that the structures and processes can hamper the creativity of the R&D project. What they don’t realize is that those structures can actually enhance creativity, if the processes and the metric to measure those processes are built in the right way. Some great ideas get shelved as the project managers could not provide a sufficiently compelling picture of the potential attractiveness of the project and create necessary ‘pull’ with the stakeholders. They focus either too much on the creativity part or too much on the business part without trying to delicately balance both needs. Understanding the project environment, the stakeholders (often conflicting) expectations, Researcher’s extrinsic and intrinsic motivational needs are crucial to the success of the R&D project. Mature companies who are leaders in ‘innovation’ do have structured innovation processes to drive the innovative idea from concept development to commercialization stage. The inherent uncertainty in R&D projects is more of a reason to plan than to avoid it. This paper attempts to highlight how project management principles can be used to balance the creativity need and the business need of the R&D project to make sure the project delivers the desired business benefits.
  19. 19. Disclaimer The ideas and thoughts mentioned in this paper are solely my personal opinion and in no way represent the opinion of either GM (my present company) or any other organization. Reference [1] – Davilla Tony, Epstein Mare J, Shelton Robert, Making Innovation work. How to Measure it, Manage it and Profit from it, 2006 [2] Cash Jamesh.I., Micheal Jr., Earl J & Morison Robert, Teaming Up To Crack Innovation & Enterprise Integration , Harvard Business review , November 2008 [3] Clark Kim B, Wheelright Steven C, Managing New Product and Process Development, 1993 [4] Pisana Gary P & Verganti Roberto , What Kind Of Collaboration Is Right For You, Harvard Business Review- December 2008 [5] Grant Robert M, Contemporary Strategic Management, 2012 [6] Govindrajan Vijay , Trimble Chris, How Stella Saved the Firm, 2013 [7] Chacko Philip, Noronha Christabelle, Agarwal Sujata, Small Wonder, the making of the Nano, 2010 [8] [PMBOK, Version 5] [9] [Idea generation] [10] [11] content/NCMS_files/DM/DMSIG/OCT2011/GRC.pdf?iframe&width=850&height=600 [Toll Gate] [12] [R Software] [13] [Weka] [14] [SAS] [15] [Heilmeyer Questions] Author Profile:
  20. 20. About Author Soumen De, PMP, presently is the EGM and heads the Advance Quality Analytics at General Motors Tech Centre, Bangalore India. He has BE, MTech and MBA as his educational background and has got a total work experience of 20 years. He has worked in driving innovation projects in General Electric R&D and General Motors R&D before moving to his present role in quality function. Prior to that he has got experience in managing factory automation in shop floor, in Tata Motors . He is Six Sigma Green belt certified and has presented technical papers at different national and international conference. He has 15 technical patents and 3 Tool Method inventions (TMI) in the area of integrated vehicle health management (IVHM) area.