Means to Classify the R&D Projects on the Criticality Dimensions

Means to Classify the R&D Projects on the Criticality Dimensions

Ramanathan M. (Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), India), Punnniyamoorthy M. (National Institute of Technology, Tiruchirappalli, India) and Balamurugan V. (Defence Research and Development Organization (DRDO), India)
Copyright: © 2020 |Pages: 25
DOI: 10.4018/IJITPM.2020070103
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The evaluation of the complexity of research and development (R&D) projects is critical for the successful management of projects. In Defence, R&D projects could be classified as mission mode (MM) projects, technology development (TD) projects, science and technology (S&T) projects, infrastructure facilities (IF) projects, and product support (PS) projects. This study is focused on the assessment of the complexity in the five categories of the R&D projects, and it is based on the survey (with about 179 respondents) undertaken by considering about 40 attributes. The purpose of this exercise is to rank the five types of projects based on their complexity. A series of algorithms such as K-means clustering, analytic hierarchy process, modified TOPSIS method, and Henry Garrett ranking technique were applied to arrive at the results. Thus, a scenario analysis framework in terms of different methods is portrayed to select the appropriate ranking of the critical project.
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1. Introduction

The complexity of defence R&D projects varies based on criticality dimensions (Fernando et al, 2015). This demands the management to prioritize the R&D project based on the criticality of the dimensions (Atkinson, 1999). Hence, the critical attributes are classified into more complex, complex, medium complex, less complex and simple complex. With respect to each project, the criticalities are measured on the macro dimensions such as turbulence, clarity in cause and effect relationship, uncertainty in prediction, the extent of unknown and repeatability in the projects (Gan et al. 2011). The present literature discussed the criticality of R&D projects based on the technology, cost, time, quality, stakeholder, top management commitment, external environment organization changes, and cultural differences (Ameen et al, 2009). However, less research work has been carried on evaluating the several projects undertaken by the organization to determine the criticality of the projects. Our study strives to fill this research gap by ranking the projects based on its criticality and the ranking helps in identifying the projects that require special attention to be successful. The most significant forty complex attributes were identified based on the literature survey and discussion with experts. In this research work, an instrument has been developed incorporating the complex factors and the responses are collected by circulating the instrument among 179 scientists.

Since the number of attributes is more, Factor Analysis is performed to reduce the number of factors in such a way that it captures the maximum amount of variance. However, factor analysis did not yield expected results, as it took 23 factors to capture approximately the variance of 63%. Therefore, K-means clustering was performed, and 4 clusters were formed. These clusters with an average of 10 attributes in each cluster were named as Project Planning, Top Management & Project Control, Quality Standards and External Factors. Next, Analytical Hierarchy Process (AHP) was performed, where pairwise comparison among the factors and within the factors was made to arrive at the complexity rankings (Anandan, S., Rajesh, R., & Ganesh, K. 2017).

Another two methods namely, ‘Technique for Order of Preference by Similarity to Ideal Solution’ (TOPSIS) (Ramkumar, N., Subramanian, P., & Rajmohan, M, 2009) and Relative Weightage method is used to check whether AHP technique reports the same results or not. The results obtained were not the same as AHP. Hence, Henry Garrett ranking technique is used finally to arrive at the ranking of the projects.

Thus, this paper provides a scenario analysis; this portrayed the methodology of the paper to ranking the projects using techniques like AHP, Modified TOPSIS, Relative Weightage and Henry Garrett Ranking Technique. This helps the management to deploy the resources and effort in planning, scheduling and controlling of the critical projects to achieve the standard on cost, time and performance.

The construction of the paper is as follows: Section 2 discusses the related work of complexity in projects. Section 3 elaborates the methodology of the study using various techniques like K-means clustering, Analytical Hierarchy Process, Modified TOPSIS method, Direct Relative Weightage method and Henry Garrett Ranking Technique. The paper is concluded with a summary in Section 4.

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