Research and Development (R&D) is the investigative work you do before you begin designing a new product. This investigation helps you decide whether to further pursue the manufacturing of the product. Companies across all industries utilize R&D to improve their product development process. We here at Lime Design know how important R&D is and have picked out four helpful tips that will surely help you research and develop your next product.
Deal breakers are situations that mean it’s time to move on. Make sure that everyone who is working on the project is aware of what these deal breakers are so there are no surprises. An example of this could be the acknowledgment of a competitor product in the same field. This information allows you to shut down the project if it becomes clear that competitors are too far ahead to justify investment in further research.
It is easy to let cognitive biases get in the way of the R&D process. You can oversimplify and try to manipulate the information gained from R&D in your favor even when that information isn’t exactly what you want to hear. Do not let biases cloud your judgement and prevent you from making the best decision.Sometimes you wont get the information you hoped you would get from your R&D and that is okay. We talk more about why it’s okay to fail later on.
It is important to stay on top of your R&D and be thorough with your research even though it may seem monotonous and uneventful at times. Push through and focus your energies and resources on discovering and developing innovative designs. We certainly aren’t telling you to work yourself until you burn out. We know it’s hard to avoid the repetitive and routine work that is R&D, but you can choose to fight it through a combination of working hard and having fun. Don’t exaggerate on just one of these two. Take a break every now and then, go for a walk, look up something of interest to you that has nothing to do with your product or encourage your colleagues to join you in a little synchronized chair-dancing.
Learning from failure is an important part of the R&D process. Not all products are worth investing your time and energy. If you are only taking on projects with a high probability of success, it probably means you’re not taking on enough risks. Never be afraid to fail, it is a crucial part of the learning curve!Walt Disney himself had a bit of a rough start. He was fired by a newspaper editor because, “he lacked imagination and had no good ideas.” After that, Disney started a number of businesses that didn’t last too long and ended with bankruptcy and failure. He kept pushing and eventually found a recipe for success.