The key components of the management of an organization considered in an effective assessment are the R&D portfolio, resources, the organizational leadership and management structure, and planning for the future.

Research is characterized by the fact that the result of any particular approach is not known until the research has been performed. Hence it is important that a research program—even one with a specific mission—examine several alternatives in a portfolio of projects. Similarly, in development it is usually not known which technology will lead to the best (most cost-effective, efficient) solution, and so it is important to consider a portfolio of technologies. For an effective assessment, resources will be evaluated to determine if they are adequate for the proposed or ongoing program, but the evaluation will also recognize the external resource limitations (budgetary, regulatory, personnel). To be effective, research leadership and structure will be adapted to the environment in which it operates—no one model suffices for all styles of research organizations. The future always brings improved science and technology, and so if the parent organization is to remain competitive, it is important that its R&D units continuously upgrade the skill sets of its workforce and match these with adequate research facilities.

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