Overview performance improvement R&D

Volatile market and customer demands, rapid changes, increasingly complex products and ever shorter product life cycles place significant demands on Research and Development. This makes it all the more important to have an R&D management system that offers rapid strategic adaptability, provides flexible, efficient processes and is supported by an organisation that allows you to adapt quickly to changing conditions, while simultaneously realising synergies. For this, you need a holistic and interdisciplinary approach.

The three drivers of performance improvement

High-performance product development is a battle fought on many fronts. The classic drivers remain valid, but management has become infinitely more complex. Fast-moving markets keep product requirements in a state of flux until shortly before series production is ready – and sometimes even beyond that point. New methods – such as digitalisation and agile working – open up a much broader spectrum of necessary processes for efficient work organisation. Therefore, the challenge of finding the right working point in the so-called “magic triangle” is growing for companies. Products that the customer values must be developed. In tandem, the use of resources should be minimal, and the time-to-market must be aligned with both the customer and target markets. The three drivers of performance improvement in product creation are:

There are various approaches and solution modules for realising these goals.

The three areas of competence for lasting change

In order to achieve these goals ever more effectively, industrial companies require an interdisciplinary, holistic R&D management system. This must break down silo structures and enable sustainable change towards a process-oriented, increasingly efficient organisation. You need to know your core competencies, in order to be able to quickly adapt strategies in the event of disruptive changes. You need to support the implementation of your corporate- and business unit strategies with transparent and coordinated product and technology strategies, as well as platform- and module strategies. You need processes that ensure high development quality, cost efficiency and speed. And you need to balance your global development organisation in such a way that it can produce market- and customer-oriented products on the one hand, but at the same time leverage all cross-product synergies through a process of standardisation and modularisation:

  • Your strategy defines goals and provides a source of orientation.
  • Your processes are aligned with your strategy and enable its implementation.
  • Your organisation executes your processes and achieves the defined goals.

The three areas of competence – strategy, processes and organisation – should never be considered separately. An example: If you opt for a modular strategy, you need a preceding module development process in addition to your product development process. You also deliberately establish a conflict within your development organisation. The product developers want to customise modules specifically for your product. Your module developers, however, have the task of establishing standards. You now have to establish and balance these two interest groups in a matrix organisation, e.g. by using lean product lines vertically and implementing a cross-sectional organisation structured by modules horizontally.

We make research and development more efficient

Improving the performance of your product development is never over; it is a continuous process of improvement. Sometimes you will launch major initiatives, and sometimes you will drive the continuous improvement of established building blocks. But you will only achieve irreversible improvements if you accompany all your improvement initiatives with professional change management. That’s why we’re on hand for you: We combine specialist and industry knowledge with change expertise. And that makes the difference:

Our consultants have been experiencing and shaping change in traditional industries for three decades. Their experience has flowed into a proprietary maturity model that forms part of the foundation of our consulting approach. It serves as a tool for a systematic stocktaking approach in which we assess the current maturity level of your product development and identify development scenarios. In doing so, we specify the necessary practices in strategy, processes and organisation that will elevate you to a higher level of maturity. Learn more about our Smart Development Assessment.

The benefit to you

  • You are guided by the three drivers of performance improvement.
  • You take an interdisciplinary and holistic approach to finding solutions.
  • You use a Smart Development Assessment to determine where you stand and to derive the next steps for improvement.
  • You coordinate the individual solution modules of the competence fields of strategy, processes and organisation in such a way that they achieve your goals.
  • You continuously develop your integrated R&D management system.
  • Professional change management makes all your initiatives irreversibly good.
V 2.0