Are you about to work with your research and development team for the first time? If so, then it’s expected to be a tad intimidating. After all, most R&D teams tend to work independently from the rest of the company. Yet, you should collaborate with and include this department in your company culture, because the best way to stay one step ahead of the competition is with solid R&D. If you want to learn how to collaborate with your R&D team successfully, here are five tips for working with a research and development team.
Begin With Clearly Defined Goals
It’s normal for R&D’s activities to come straight from the top. Yet, it’s a better idea to unify each department with clearly defined goals. Sit down for a brainstorming session with your R&D team to devise clear goals for your project. That will empower your team to work toward that ultimate goal—and everyone will be on the same page.
Don’t settle for vague goals, as those won’t help anyone. Instead, it would help if you got highly specific when devising new goals. Here’s an example of a vague goal: “Refine our existing products.” It doesn’t supply a timeline or anything specific. A much better version of the same goal would be “To innovate our flagship product within six months.” Now, your team has a timeline and something specific to target.
Hold Regular Meetings
Now that you’re working with your R&D team, you’ll need to see them regularly. While it’s easy to settle for emails and IMs, you should hold weekly meetings in-person instead. That will give you the chance to update your team, and vice versa. Regular meetings will help you stay on track with your goals, too.
Balance Between Exploring New Ideas and Goals
It’s crucial to have time where your R&D team is free to explore and innovate. That can lead to some incredible revelations and new creations. Yet too much time exploring will set you off track with your goals. That’s why you need to create a balance between focused sessions and set aside time to play around.
Promote a Culture of Learning
When working for a chemical engineering service, you’ll want to elicit a culture of learning. That means getting your employees and R&D team excited about learning new things. That will help your team fire on all cylinders when working on your project.
Keep Things Simple
Keeping things simple is perhaps the most important tip for working with a research and development team. Most people get intimidated at the thought of working with R&D because it seems so complex. The thing is that while specific solutions may be complicated, working with your team doesn’t have to be complicated at all. Remember, you’re here to keep things organized and running on schedule.