3 Top Research and Development Challenges — And How to Solve Them

3 Minute Read
Posted by Randy Eickhoff on Dec 9, 2023 2:05:00 PM

The road most businesses travel when pursuing research and development is often long, winding, and complex. Most people assume that the only thing that matters is the end result when it comes to R&D experimentation. However, it’s important to recognize that the journey is far more marathon than sprint — and it’s imperative for businesses to plan for unforeseen challenges and complexities to ensure ultimate success and return on investment. 

Beyond Financial Impact Alone: Planning for Success With R&D Programs

At Acena Consulting, we prioritize guiding businesses through the R&D tax credit’s multifaceted terrain to mitigate risk and optimize revenue opportunities across all qualifying operations. Our team of R&D tax credit experts recognizes that financial impact matters — but we also recognize that anticipating and addressing challenges that extend beyond monetary output alone provides mission-critical support in any organization’s quest for innovation. 

Here are three of the biggest potential challenges that could derail your R&D initiatives — and tips on how to resolve them before they grind your operations to a halt. 

1. Lack of Resources: Shoring Up The Backbone of Innovation 

Resource scarcity across both human capital and essential tools can significantly hinder the success of any research and development endeavor. Carefully calculating the right balance between workload and available resources is essential before launching any program. Having a clear understanding of resource requirements and effective allocation strategies can help businesses avert shortages that impede progress.

2. Restrictive Managerial Style: Fostering a Culture of Innovation

Micromanagement, lack of autonomy, ambiguous objectives, and promoting a siloed work environment can stifle the pace and productivity of the R&D process. Creating a culture of trust, collaboration, and open communication is paramount to counteract this challenge.

Empowering employees to take ownership of their tasks while providing them with well-defined goals cultivates a more conducive environment for creativity and productivity within the R&D team. This shift allows for greater autonomy, facilitating smoother operations and encouraging a more innovative approach.

3. Failure to Develop Long- and Short-Term Goals: Bridging Short and Long-Term Vision

Balancing both short-term milestones and long-term aspirations can prove challenging for organizations engaged in R&D efforts. Many technology and innovation companies have mastered either short- or long-term goal development, but dynamic R&D efforts require knowing how to navigate both within their operations.

Additionally, it's important to establish short-term goals that align with the long-term vision to provide direction and focus. Acena Consulting recommends appointing a team of forward-thinking individuals capable of strategizing and mapping out goals for the next five to ten years. By setting comprehensive long-term objectives, businesses can stay at the forefront of innovation, positioning themselves ahead of competitors.

Acena Consulting Can Help Your Business Navigate R&D Complexities

Acena Consulting delivers specialized R&D tax credit guidance to help businesses and financial professionals navigate research and development challenges. Schedule an appointment today to explore how our tailored strategies can drive your innovation journey forward.

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Randy Eickhoff

Randy Eickhoff

Acena Consulting President Randy Eickhoff, licensed CPA, has partnered with more than 200 companies during more than 20 years of experience securing tax credits and other government incentives. His corporate partners range from multinational technology firms to smaller, privately held manufacturing, sports, and technology enterprises.