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Improvement Diagnostic Tools

R&D Questionnaire
by: Dr. Ray O. Waddoups

If a company with a new product beats its competitors to market by 6 months, they will get 80% of the lifetime profits from that product.

- Boston Consulting Group

The following is a quick tool for self-evaluation of your R&D process. Take the quiz and score each question for your organization to see how you stand compared to world-class R&D organizations that you may find as your competitors.

Now take the quiz:

1. Do you regularly beat your competitors to market with new products?

    [ ] Yes (10 points)
    [ ] No (0 points)
    [ ] Sometimes (3 points)

your score ______


2. Is schedule the most important criterion for project leader success in your product development efforts?

    [ ] Yes (10 points)
    [ ] No (0 points)
    [ ] Sometimes (3 points)

your score ______


3. Do you have incremental multi-generation product line development including? (Check all that apply)
    [ ] New iterations of existing products (3 points)
    [ ] New products (3 points)
    [ ] Technology developments to be used in future products (3 points)

your score ______


4. How long do you allow your projects to schedule development?
    New iteration of existing products:
    [ ] 6 months or less (5 points)
    [ ] 6 months to 1 year (3 points)
    [ ] 1 to 2 years (1 point)
    [ ] More than 2 years (0 points)

    New products:
    [ ] Less than 1 year (5 points)
    [ ] 1 year to 18 months (3 points)
    [ ] 18 months to 2 years (2 points)
    [ ] 2 years to 3 years (1 point)
    [ ] More than 3 years (0 points)

your score ______


5. How often are project reviews held?

    [ ] Monthly (5 points)
    [ ] Quarterly (3 points)
    [ ] Annually (1 point)
    [ ] Never

your score ______


6. Are R&D roadmaps used?

    [ ] Yes (10 points)
    [ ] No (0 points)
    [ ] Sometimes (3 points)

your score ______


7. Is a project plan created and approved as a contract for the project team?

    [ ] Yes (10 points)
    [ ] No (0 points)
    [ ] Sometimes (3 points)

your score ______


8. Are metrics used to measure R&D effectiveness?

    [ ] Yes (10 points)
    [ ] No (0 points)
    [ ] Sometimes (3 points)

your score ______


9. Do your R&D personnel know and understand upper and middle management objectives and success criteria for the projects?

    [ ] Yes (10 points)
    [ ] No (0 points)
    [ ] Sometimes (3 points)

your score ______


10. Are your R&D teams multi-functional including engineering, manufacturing, marketing, supply management, etc.?

    [ ] Yes (10 points)
    [ ] No (0 points)
    [ ] Sometimes (3 points)

your score ______


11. Do R&D personnel have regular contacts with customers?

    [ ] Yes (10 points)
    [ ] No (0 points)
    [ ] Sometimes (3 points)

your score ______


Total Score _____

Total the points for each question. If your total is:

  • 100 to 104 -- Your organization is world class. Keep running to stay ahead of the footsteps behind you.
  • 90 to 99 -- You are doing well but have room for improvement to deliver the best new products in the shortest time.
  • 70 to 90 -- We can help you improve competitiveness by being faster to market with better products.
  • Below 70 -- Your competitors will capture major portions of your market place with better new products introduced before yours.

"What you measure improves."

- Robert Young, retired CEO Hewlett Packard

If you decide that you need help in improving your New Product Development Process, please call MASET and let us assist you in this effort. For more information, contact:

MASET, LLC    P. O. Box 11663    Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 602-721-3680     Fax 480-802-4710


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