October 2013

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.