Bringing innovation from an idea to business takes skilled management and complementarity

Curious R&D teams often speak a bit different language than their colleagues in production and sales. These two groups of professionals are also motivated by different factors – and for a good reason. While the task of production and sales is to utilize well-known opportunities and solve known problems, R&D people are professionals in identifying unknown opportunities and defining poorly known problems. This is illustrated in Scheme 1.

Roles of RAND vs Prod and Sales

Said with a pinch of salt, research people get bored as soon as something is well known while their colleagues in production and sales find anything poorly known appalling. A hard fact is, though, that smooth transfer of an R&D project from the former to the latter is often a challenge to the management. A gap between these two groups can kill even a very potent innovation project.

In innovation, market research is to to sales what product development is to production. While the need of good communication and close cooperation between these two lines is usually well recognized, the importance of closing the gap discussed in Scheme 1 often gets much less attention.

KEY TO SUCCESS

To overcome both of the abovementioned managerial challenges, it is important that representatives of production and sales are involved in an innovation project already in its early stage and that R&D people remain in the project team all the way until commercialization. Not only does such practice increase the success rate of individual innovation projects, but it is also excellent training for all participants. Training like this also promotes multidisciplinary skills and talents, thus increasing the company’s intellectual capital.

A shared sense of complementarity is maybe the best indication that the gap between an R&D team and the commercial operations is successfully closed.

During our long experience in serving our customers in all stages of R&D, innovation projects and business operations, we in Scitech Service have learned that complementarity is of vital importance also between us and our customers’ experts and management. Such modus operandi promotes efficiency, effectiveness – and success also in innovation. That’s what we like to deliver to our customers.

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