R&D productivity and the innovation deficit

The issue:

Our client a recently appointed Head of Research & Development (R&D) engaged PwC to help continue the drive for high quality products of value being delivered by the R&D organisation. Across R&D a number of initiatives had started however these were disconnected and incomplete.

PwC were engaged to help design, construct and implement a new operating model for R&D including:

  • Interactions between the different functions within R&D and across the organisation
  • Dialogue required between teams, governance, review and approval bodies
  • Policies, principles, processes, roles and responsibilities across R&D
  • Desired culture and enabling behaviours
  • Skills requirements
  • Measures of performance
Our approach:

PwC appointed a team to focus on:

  • Defining a best fit change approach up front, taking an inclusive & holistic approach focused on making improvements for the future and building the competencies and capabilities within the new organisation
  • Operating R&D from 3 different countries – Italy, France and US, involving significant behavioural changes, with a shift from department to project focus and empowerment of team member
  • Building a vision and hunger for success and engaging the front line before, during and after, engaging client staff to help design, construct and deliver the new operating model
  • Rapid Design Workshop methodology involving part of the R&D community and fostering significant ownership of the project outcome within the client
  • Launch of the new R&D operating model at an all inclusive 2 day immersion event
  • Facilitating the operation of the new ways of working through project team and governance board coaching

During construction of the new operating model, client staff took ownership of the deliverables with guidance from our consulting team. During the 2 day launch event, rising stars within the organisation trained their colleagues in the new operating model following an intensive train-the-trainer programme. In addition, leadership from across the organisation delivered key messages using innovative approaches.

By working with the client and its R&D leadership team PwC aligned expectations and increased confidence, utilising coaching to grow skills and influence behaviours at all levels throughout the business. For the client this meant ensuring they demonstrated the defined behaviours. For the R&D Leadership Team this meant getting beyond the surface and providing 1 to 1 coaching and at the same time ensuring they were aligned as a group.

The outcome:

With PwC’s support the client has achieved their goal, now operating with an established and functional new R&D Operating Model. Within this the client has achieved the following benefits:

  • Within R&D the client has clearly defined their R&D vision and aligned the organisation to achieve this goal as well as the goals of the broader organisation
  • Staff skills have been built, rising talent has been nurtured and leadership has been engaged to drive the change forward
  • New roles have been defined where gaps existed
  • Clear roles and responsibilities within the matrix i.e., Governance, Departments, Teams, Individuals
  • Consistent, aligned processes, tools and templates across the R&D value chain
  • Robust framework for project planning and management, team working and decision making
  • Culture and behaviours – a can do attitude prevails in addition to a willingness to challenge and take ownership