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R&D Project Selection Using the Ahp

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IEEE TRANSACTIONS ON ENGINEERING MANAGEMENT, VOL. 49, NO. 1, FEBRUARY 2002

59

R&D Project Selection Using the Analytic Network Process
Laura M. Meade and Adrien Presley
Abstract—The analytic network process (ANP) is presented as a potentially valuable method to support the selection of projects in a research and development (R&D) environment. This paper first discusses the requirements of the R&D project selection problem, which requires the allocation of resources to a set of competing and often disparate project proposals. Among the factors complicating this task is the need to make the decision within the framework of an enterprise’s strategic objectives and organizational structure while considering and integrating financial and strategic benefits of each project. The paper discusses the use of the ANP, a general form of Saaty’s analytic hierarchy process, as a model to evaluate the value of competing R&D project proposals. A generic ANP model developed by the authors, which includes in its decision levels the actors involved in the decision, the stages of research, categories of metrics, and individual metrics, is presented. The paper concludes with a case study describing the implementation of this model at a small high-tech company, including data based on the actual use of the decision making model. Index Terms—Analytic hierarchy process, analytic network process, multicriteria decision making, project selection, R&D management, R&D projects.

I. INTRODUCTION OR MANY firms, especially those that depend on innovation to stay in business, the key to continued competitiveness lies in their ability to develop and implement new products and processes. For these organizations, research and development (R&D) is an integral function within the strategic management framework. Even firms with excellent technical skills must work within the limits of available...

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