The aim of the research & development (R&D) process blade is to support innovation and the exploration of potential new or improved products and services (offerings) within an organization. R&D is sometimes called research and technological development (RTD) or simply research. R&D typically focuses on monitoring the market for, identifying, and experimenting with potential innovations. These innovations may include new offerings to bring to your customers, new technologies to work with, new ways of working (WoW), and new ways of thinking.
There are several reasons why organizations need a Disciplined Agile® approach to R&D:
- Improved market innovation. One aim of R&D should be to identify potential new offerings to delight your customers, working closely with your strategy and product management groups to do so. Successful new offerings enable your organization to gain and retain competitive advantage.
- Process innovation. R&D should also look for opportunities to improve existing ways of working (WoW) within your organization. This could be through physical process automation/robotics. It may also be via virtual process automation through better software-based systems, such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, and cloud-based services.
- Better strategic decisions. Effective R&D efforts will provide powerful knowledge and insight for your strategy, product management, enterprise architecture efforts and other areas. This supports the long-term success of your organization.
- Improved trend matching. Other organizations are innovating too, and sometimes you find that you’re a follower and not a leader. R&D can help you to catch up and better yet exceed the competition, thereby closing a competitive disadvantage.