Trends, challenges and recommendations
A viewpoint on how to organise your global R&D and product management
to become fit for the future.


Marinus Guldhammer Nejrup & Thomas Leonhardt

Many companies have recently reorganised their R&D

Reorganisations are heavily triggered by external changes, and these days, things move quickly. To keep up, product development and service organisations need to adapt more rapidly to changes. This calls for a need to reorganise for the future – now.

Changes take place more rapidly

Approximately ¾ of the surveyed companies have experienced external changes leading to a reorganisation of their global R&D organisation, and external changes are expected to be even more relevant in 2020 and onwards.

This picture is aligned with our general observations, where most of our clients, who are either product development or service organisations, express an increasing need to be able to change rapidly to adapt to changes in their environment.

Reorganising for the future

Reorganisations are often a result of:

  • New technology-driven product development (inside-out).
  • User insight-driven processes (outside-in)
  • Inefficient cross-functional collaboration (process end-to-end)

Reorganisation initiatives all have the same purpose in mind: to ensure that companies gain or sustain a competitive advantage through new innovative products and services.

For many companies, however, finding the right approach to organising for the future is challenging – especially when trying to organise across marketing, product management, R&D and supply functions.
Some companies are also starting to see the effect of “negative globalisation” and are moving R&D activities back from abroad, e.g. from China to Denmark.

In this viewpoint, we will provide insights into trends and challenges in global R&D and product management. Also, we will highlight five key dilemmas that need to be addressed when reorganising your product development.