R&D Management Best Practice: a cross-industry global benchmark

In 2013, Arthur D. Little completed its 8th Global Innovation Excellence Study (GIES), a global, cross-industry survey of trends and best practices in innovation management. Drawing on over 1000 responses across the last two GIES, it shed new quantitative light on the basic key question: what innovation management techniques achieve the best return on innovation investment.

In 2015 ADL followed up with a study to maintain our insights into emerging R&D management practices. Rather than seeking quantitative inputs from hundreds of participants, we prioritize a deep qualitative engagement with innovation leaders. As a first step, we identified a number of innovation leading companies and invited them to contribute best practice examples and to participate in a reflection on different R&D management practices.  Through a series of interviews and internal reflection with leading practitioners in our Technology and Innovation Management practice, we then developed 23 case studies with 15 companies identified as innovation leaders.   The full results were analysed and shared with the benchmarking participants.

From the rich material that these companies shared with us, ADL identified common challenges and insight into how these innovation leaders are responding. Based on this material ADL is developing a series of viewpoints over the coming months, each focused on specific aspects of the study. Anonymized case studies and quotes from our interviews and meetings have been used to illustrate best practice.

If you face these challenges and would like to discuss out findings in more detail, please don’t hesitate to contact us.

Ben Thuriaux-Alemán
Principal - Technology and Innovation Management Practice, R&D Best Practice Study Leader

Colin Davies
Manager - Technology and Innovation Management Practice, R&D Best Practice Coordinator

In the current era of technological disruption and global competition, it is more important than ever to have a clear grip on how the full intent of corporate strategy is manifested in the R&D portfolio. Allocating resources in line with that strategy achieves better results - yet all too often, companies rely on stage gate controls at individual project or program levels. This is not sufficient to achieve the dynamic R&D portfolio management and resource allocation that global corporations need to stay ahead.[...]

We are entering an era that will demand unheralded levels of creativity as companies constantly innovate and reinvent themselves to succeed in the search for growth and margins. This places increasing pressure on companies to generate a steady stream of high quality ideas that can eventually deliver top and bottom line growth. [...]

The ever increasing rate of technology development and the combination of new disciplines places increasing demands on competence management in R&D and, if companies fail to develop or target the wrong areas, the consequences are greater and it’s harder to recover in time. One of the greatest inefficiencies in R&D is bottlenecks and delays in getting products to market, often due to resource constraints, hits companies hard. [...]

Overcoming hurdles: insights into stagegate management

Viewpoint forthcoming March 2016

Search by keyword

The global participants have an average revenue of $30 bn and are spread across a broad range of technology-intensive industries (including medical devices, pharma, consumer goods, specialty chemicals, food and beverage, oil & gas and industrial equipment). The firms are evenly split between those headquartered in the US and Europe.

| |Bookmark Arthur D. Little