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A Conceptual Framework for Ranking R&D Projects

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2 Author(s)
Bitman, W.R. ; Johns Hopkins Univ., Baltimore ; Sharif, N.

A framework for R&D project ranking that can help a firm improve its competitive advantage is presented. The framework integrates elements of previously published R&D project ranking systems and was refined through practitioner evaluation and utilization. Through use of the framework, an organization can increase the objectivity, accountability, and transparency of its strategic decision-making process. Real world tradeoffs are accounted for by evaluating projects in terms of the following perspectives: reasonableness, attractiveness, responsiveness, competitiveness, and innovativeness. Each perspective is represented by multiple criteria measured via descriptive values distributed over a standardized scale. The framework is operationalized by a toolset consisting of a project evaluation form, pairwise comparison matrices, a weighted scoring model, a scorecard, and radar diagrams. A firm customizes the framework by using pairwise comparison matrices to establish relative weights that reflect the firm's unique objectives and competitive environment. Reviewers score each project's criteria on evaluation forms. Weights and criteria scores are entered onto the scorecard through which the scoring model produces a rank-ordered project list. Radar diagrams display how well a firm's portfolio matches its R&D goals. These framework artifacts produce a decision reasoning audit trail that an organization can use to improve its ranking process.

Published in:

Engineering Management, IEEE Transactions on  (Volume:55 ,  Issue: 2 )