17th R&D-Product Development Metrics Summit – April 15-17, 2014

This Summit will provide participants with a snapshot of the evolution, current status, and projected future of R&D and Product Development Metrics as viewed from the top of corporations.

During the first two seminars of the Summit, we will teach the Body of Knowledge of R&D and Product Development Metrics — with a focus towards the measures that company Officers and Senior Executives need to manage the organization and its performance as a whole. The first one-day seminar is dedicated to focus on the metrics for decisions and issues that Officers and Senior Executives face in directing and measuring overall performance and entire organizations. The three most adopted industry metrics of the past decade will be discussed, along with a number of other all-in-one metrics: 3M’s “Vitality Index,” the emergent “Return On Innovation” metric, and the rejuvenated “Return On Capital.” Capacity, pipeline and portfolio management, hurdle rates, risk, and trade-off analysis discussions round out the first day. The second seminar, a half-day concluding with an early afternoon luncheon, is dedicated to “proactive” and “predictive” metrics. Proactive metrics lower the risk of R&D investments before they are approved. Predictive metrics improve the ability to foresee the execution and financial outcomes of approved investments.

During the third and final seminar of the Summit, participants will break into working groups to create a “set of metrics” suitable for managing and monitoring R&D and/or Product Development organizations as a whole — including Projects, Technical & Functional Disciplines, Improvement Initiatives, and the overall Corporate Performance of R&D. Applied Research and Advanced Development organizations are easily accommodated as well in a single integrated framework, for companies with multiple development organizations. The Linked Metrics Portfolio® approach, preferred to the Balanced Scorecard for managing R&D and Product Development, will frame the exercise.

Senior executives wishing to put themselves and their fellow senior executives in a better position to direct and drive product creation and commercialization should strongly consider attending. Several of our prior participants have said, “this Summit covers everything an Officer or Senior Manager needs to know on the subject of Metrics.” GGI, a 28-year old company, has been recognized as a thought leader and practitioner in this field since the early 1990s.

Finally, and this is not true of all GGI Metrics Summits, GGI has just completed our 6th North American study of R&D and Product Development practices in the areas of R&D Operating Environments, Organic Innovation, Open Innovation, Intellectual Property, and the Top Corporate R&D Metrics In Use. Two-hundred companies from the USA, Canada, and Mexico participated in numbers that represent the relative R&D spending of the North American countries. It will be difficult to find information that is more current to augment the practical nature and usable outcomes of this 17th Metrics Summit.

Please visit our Summit web site for additional content and registration information.

16th R&D-Product Development Metrics Summit – November 12-14, 2013

 The purpose of the 16th Metrics Summit is to robustly address the metrics that are needed by R&D and Product Development leaders to maximize their company’s return from its investment in R&D.  The focus of the Summit will be at the VP/CTO level.  We will cover the few metrics and performance indicators that are reported upward to the CEO.  We will cover the greater number of metrics that are needed by the VP/CTO to manage activities and operations that report within the R&D-Product Development organization.  This is the first day and one-half.

We will then commence a Workshop where the executives will choose into their working groups based on the commonality of their R&D Strategy.  It is not every day that one gets to sit down with peers who also have the challenge of deciding the “best metrics” to support the achievement of R&D Strategy.  Many lasting relationships are built at our Summits because folks face the same challenges.  Is your R&D Strategy to be an Innovator?  Is it Platform-Derivative?  Are you a Balanced Portfolio strategy?  Do you focus on being second or later to market, with a better price and service?  There are other competitive strategies as well.  The best metrics for each of these strategies are different.  Further, if revenue and profit maximization is paramount then your metrics will be different than if asset maximization is paramount.  For example, a capital-intensive Innovator will have many different measures than would a revenue-profit innovator.

During the Workshop several subjects will be interspersed that are necessary for comprehensive measurement of research and development, but whose metrics are usually in supporting roles to the CEO-Level metrics, including:  Advanced Development, Functional and Technical Competencies, Intellectual Property, Program Management, and Improvement Projects among other topics.  At the conclusion of the Summit, the “best metrics for a given strategy,” the “necessary metrics to oversee R&D,” and “the total number of metrics required” will be apparent to all participants.

Unique to this 16th Summit will be a hot-off-the-press statistically valid study of the metrics used by 200 companies to measure R&D-Product Development.  GGI, a twenty-seven year old company has been performing primary research in metrics since 1998.  A rank-order list of one-hundred one metrics, indicating the percentage at which a metric has penetrated industry, is sure to be a stimulating undercurrent at this Summit.  Our 2008 research indicated that profit, productivity, competency, intellectual property finance, and aggregate measures of innovation and innovative ability were on the rise.  We expect to see the measures of advanced research and development organizations join the risers in 2013.

Senior executives wishing to put themselves and their fellow senior executives in a better position to direct and drive product creation and commercialization should strongly consider attending. A great number of our participants have said, “this Summit covers everything an Officer or Senior Manager needs to know on the subject of Metrics – a rigorous learning experience that can be put to immediate use.”

Please visit our Summit web site for additional content and registration information.

Measuring Competencies in Lean and Innovative Companies

R&D Metrics Dashboards Should Include Pure Innovation, Advanced Development, IP, & Competency Measures, July 21, 2011, discusses four areas of R&D and Product Development where the need to measure is increasing due to the increasing importance of the activity.

One of these areas is “competency measurement.” While there are hundreds if not thousands of competencies that companies may be concerned about, and those competencies differ significantly by industry and by a company’s competitive strategy and position, the subject can be simplified by thinking of two basic types that apply in all cases. In short, there are “Core Competencies” and “Functional or Technical Competencies.”

In most companies, there is still little distinction between these two groups. That is perhaps to be expected because initial codification did not appear in literature until the early 1990s and the subject matter is still relatively new. There are great differences between these two groups however.

Core Competencies refer to the “handful or less of the capabilities of a given company that enable it to compete and succeed in its industry and/or relative to its competitors.”  The best description and context that I have come across for Core Competencies was published by C. K. Prahalad in his 1994 book entitled “Competing For The Future: Breakthrough Strategies For Seizing Control Of Your Industry And Creating The Markets Of Tomorrow, which he co-wrote with Gary Hamel.  In their book, the authors offer that even the largest of companies have only one to three Core Competencies.

In contrast are the myriad of functional and technical competencies that must be built and maintained for individuals, cost centers, departments, and business units for the company to compete and succeed.  Functional and technical competencies generally enable the resultant core competencies.  In rare cases a functional or technical competency may also be a core competency, but usually not.

Measuring Competencies in Lean and Innovative Companies [Machine Design – October 10, 2013], discusses key factors that are driving the growth in functional and technical competency measurement.  Lean practices started the ball rolling in the 1990s.  Globalization changed the basis of competition for many company companies in the 2000s.  The need for repeatable “factory-like” product innovation is putting the capstone in place in the 2010s.  Seasoned product developers are having different reactions than are folks that have entered the work force more recently.

IP & Innovation Will Drive Product Development

Intellectual Property Changes In The Next 15 Years, April 5, 2011, discussed the “Seven Generations” of Product Development that have occurred in the past 60 years and are occurring in the next 20 years.  These Generations serve as a useful guideline for professionals that have the responsibility to direct and guide other professionals toward a common goal in the technical functions of a corporation.

Industry currently has feet in two generations at the same time, “Technology Push” and  “IP Enabled.”  What is happening in technology in all industries today makes the boom of the late 1990s pale in comparison.  The same can be said of IP, and it has very little to do with the “First-To-File” legislation that went into effect on March 16, 2013.  FTF caused almost no change for non-US corporations who already had their procedures set up for FTF.  Most US corporations had adequate time to reset to FTF.  GGI is currently doing research on whether or not FTF caused change to company trade secret policies and procedures, more on that by late fall.  No, the commoditization and monetization of IP is the big deal.  When IP can be readily sold, especially before it is put into a product, many corporations will evolve their approach to product development.

IP and Innovation Will Drive Product Development [Machine Design – June 13, 2013], discusses attributes, challenges, and opportunities to succeed in the Technology Push and IP Enabled Generations.