R&D Planning System Approach at Organizational Level

Zieduna Liepe, Rasa Laliene


All organizations are established in order to carry out their core business activity, i.e., to transform certain resources into certain products. This process must be managed - diversed towards the desired direction, therefore a planning function here plays a significant role. Different authors (Delmar & Shane, 2003; Nicholson & Possingham, 2006; Bottrill & Pressey, 2012; & etc.) have widely analysed the importance of planning process, its system complexity and components role at the assessment of organization activity. However, planning of research and development (further R&D) requires a separate analysis and research because of the specificity of this activity comparing with the ordinary organization activity and the output created. One of the major features distinguishing R&D is an uncertainty and spontaneity of R&D results, a requirement and problematic of R&D production quality determination. It is also has to be highlighted the exclusivity of R&D process, when researcher itself or a group of them is solely responsible for all process and the quality of the final product. There is also limited possibility of this activity standardization in order to ensure an appropriate fluency of the product creation process or quality of the created production. Therefore the main purpose of this paper is to present an R&D planning system approach at organizational level, considering the peculiarities of R&D activity.

Methodology. To reach the defined goal there are few different methods used in the paper. First of them is a comparative analysis of scientific literature in pursuance to highlight the peculiarities of R&D process and output, to define the existing planning methodologies and to analyse the possibilities to adopt one of them for R&D planning system. This part of approach chooses the main planning system elements from the regular planning process which are critically important to adjust for R&D activity. The second part of theoretical research models a simplified R&D planning system by incorporating the chosen elements from the first part of research.

The main result of this paper proposes an R&D planning system approach for organization. It has been modelled after the deep analysis of the existing formal, limited rationality and systematic planning methodologies, after the identification of the main regular planning system elements and by the formation of R&D process and output planning features. The system presents the main methods for R&D goal setting and possible measurement indicators for evaluating the goal reaching progress considering different types of R&D.

The theoretical contribution of this paper gives a new systematic approach to the planning of specific - R&D - area, which is an important part for economic and social development of any country. There is an evident lack of theoretical and empirical studies analyzing the specificity of R&D planning, as the existing literature mainly focuses only on the technological activity planning.

A practical implication of this research is also significant, as the global changes in the modern world, together with the rapid scientific and technical progress and strict competition forces the organizations to develop an R&D field. The presented R&D planning system approach will lead to more effective management of research organizations in order to direct the whole activity and to concentrate the limited resources and efforts for more effective their usage. Accordingly a proper R&D planning will lead to more accurate research organizations activity evaluation, as it is usually based on the assessment of the degree of organization's purpose implementation or realization of the set goals.

Keywords: R&D planning, planning system, R&D activity, R&D process.

Paper type: Theoretical paper.


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