R, D and In Between
R&D stands for “Research & Development”. It is the usual term for the developers team in most companies. Yet, many companies have separated their teams to research-only teams and development-only teams. Teams that do both “R” and “D” are fairly rare this days.
Research tasks are harder to plan and you can’t just commit to return satisfying results every time (or it is not a research.. isn’t it?). It takes time to measure the success or a failure of a research. When I worked on my thesis, I remember that I had days (some say weeks) with zero-progress and in one memorable single Friday, I made a huge leap.
Development tasks are very different. It is easier to plan them, estimate their cost precisely and set clear goals of what needed to be done to get to things done.
Those differences between research tasks and development tasks might create the perception that it would not be wise to build mixed teams. Yet, from my experience, teams that are able to commit to such mix, may gain the huge advantage of being able to innovate and build new products, with the strategic advantage of bringing creativity through the fast line to “Production”.