R & D What drives the length of R&D projects?

These factors drive project length:

  • The product's automation level on the Production line;
  • The number of R&D projects underway at the same time;
  • The proximity of the product's new location to an existing product in your company's line.

The higher the product’s production line automation rating, the longer the project. As a rule of thumb, you can keep up with the drift rate in the high technology segments (High End, Performance and Size) with automation ratings as high as 5.5 or even 6.0, provided that you drive the projects into December and revise products every year. In the low technology segments (Traditional and Low End) you can automate to 7.0 or perhaps 8.0 and keep up using the same tactics. Even products automated to 10.0 can keep up with their segments if you plan back-to-back projects of two to three years.

The more projects that you have underway, the longer each project takes. Eight projects (the maximum) increases each project's length by 25%.