Techniques and Perspectives for Multi-Level Analysis
2. 2.1 R&D projects INTRODUCTION This chapter examines a second dimension along which measurement and evaluation of R&D in industrial firms can be undertaken and studied, that is, the R&D project. A project is defined as ‘a temporary endeavour undertaken to create a unique product, service or result’ (PMBOK, 2000, p. 4) and it has a number of distinctive characteristics that can be summarized as follows: 1. 2. 3. 4. 5. it has a definite beginning, a definite end and is not an ongoing process; the product, service or result produced by a project is unique, different from anything else on the market; it has a defined set of desired and measurable end results; it has a defined sequence, that is, it progresses from an idea through planning and execution, until it is complete; it develops in steps and proceeds by increments. Industrial R&D, because of its inherent characteristics, is typically carried out in the form of projects. Obviously, R&D projects can encompass a range of very heterogeneous activities, as already noted in the introduction to this book. There might be projects mainly focused on basic research, that represent the domain of universities’ and governmental research centres’ R&D activities, and are hardly ever within the scope of privately founded R&D. Industrial R&D projects more likely focus on applied research or New Product Development (NPD). Moreover, it is not uncommon that an industrial R&D project encompasses a larger portion of R&D...
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