Faced with a pressing timeline for replacing an aging technology system and a need for a more efficient system in the future, the client needed a strategy to address both short-term and long-term needs.
The new R&D technology needed to be more than simply a solution to the current system…it had to provide flexibility in the future and give the company a competitive advantage. Risks and uncertainties associated with development of the new technology included technical risk, commercial risk, and time to market.
Expert opinion varied widely regarding which technology solution was best. Some preferred proven technologies, while others believed that new technologies promised significant new benefits. More than a dozen different solutions were proposed, but these opinions were largely based on judgment and experience. It was not clear how value and risks for each solution were assessed.
To better understand the issues and achieve alignment, we facilitated a workshop with client teams – including a client leadership team – to define objectives and agree to a basis for valuation.
Combat Biases in Thinking
Through a facilitated IDM process, we challenged the teams with hard questions: What would make a less popular solution more attractive? What could cause a “good” solution to fail? The process helped the teams rethink each solution from a different angle and gain a more objective understanding of each one. Instead of addressing which solution was “right,” the process focused on understanding trade-offs to create even better solutions.
Adapt to Change
We worked closely with subject matter experts to assess uncertainties in benefit, risk, cost, and time. Through both qualitative and quantitative assessments, we helped the teams develop technology strategies and gain a clear understanding of value and risk profiles for each alternative, including how the risks associated with new R&D technologies could be effectively managed. As a result, the client company developed and implemented the investment strategy for its R&D technology with clarity and confidence.