The Transformation of R&D at NortelRoese-45X64.jpg
Posted by John Roese

One of the most significant challenges of being in the public eye and communicating to the press is the fact that headlines often fail to capture the true essence of the details, and often even the details are taken out of a broader context. That reality can certainly create significant confusion when complex topics are discussed. As a good example of this, yesterday I gave a talk at a Technology Executive Breakfast in Ottawa to discuss the progress we've been making against the transformation of R&D at Nortel. In this blog post, I would like to share some of that content. As you digest the details, though, I ask you to consider the headline "Nortel to rethink R&D work plans, executive says" and ask if it is an accurate reflection of the overall message. Well over a year ago now, we began a significant R&D transformation effort within Nortel, where we began to look at R&D from a "total Nortel" perspective (versus from the perspectives of individual R&D groups within each of our lines of business). There were multiple reasons why we began this transformation. Among them . the fact that we were spending over 50% of our R&D budget on late-lifecycle products; our R&D spend as a percentage of revenue was much too high; we had very little re-use of technology going on across the businesses; we lacked common processes; and the employee satisfaction scores of our R&D teams were getting worse. Most of this was the natural result of the collapse of the telecom bubble and the dramatic changes in Nortel as a result. What became increasingly clear, though, is that if we did not stabilize and strengthen our R&D organization, then we could not reasonably expect to execute on our business strategy to lead in the era of hyperconnectivity. Click here to read more of John's blog .

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