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Is your research institute leveraging technology to your advantage?

from  September 29, 2021 | 3 min read

Today technology is innovating rapidly to keep pace with the evolving needs of your people since the pandemic transformed how they work, particularly when trying to balance the demands of day-to-day operations and increasingly complex research projects. So were asking whether institutes are taking advantage of these advances or struggling to keep up?

What’s happening to research?

The pandemic has changed how the world works. This is as true for independent research institutes as any other organization. To manage this, the technology we all use has evolved quickly to ensure organizations can offer the flexible and seamless experiences their people need to get their work done in these new conditions. These innovations have helped boost satisfaction and productivity for most areas. However, conflicting demands are hitting many of your teams. More companies expect their people to spend more time than ever doing detailed, quality work while also demanding higher productivity and more efficient administration. Eventually, something has to give. If your research teams are under increased pressure to produce more output without being given better tools to provide them with valuable time back, growth and increased productivity won’t be possible.

Like other project-based organizations, safeguarding your peoples time to do more impactful work combined with growing operational complexity leads to a productivity crisis for nonprofits. But if productivity is up, wheres the crisis?

The research operations/productivity conundrum

The problem is, despite significant gains in output, many organizations still want more from these functions. Organizations then exacerbate this by expecting to complete projects on tighter timelines and smaller budgets while tracking and reporting on funding usage in ever-increasing detail and regularity to funders and regulators.

At the same time, projects are becoming increasingly difficult to manage and predict. Many teams are still operating remotely worldwide, so you are probably trying to manage multiple regulatory environments, conflicting timezones, and different approaches to executing work. Its a tricky puzzle to slot together, and for many, it quickly becomes an administrative nightmare for you and your teams. Suddenly, simple tasks start sucking up valuable time, engagement and productivity from your principal researchers’ already busy days.

All of this means your people have less time to do in-depth high-value tasks directly related to the research. So how can you keep up with these competing demands and still meet growing expectations?

Meeting growing demands

The key for institutes trying to meet these growing expectations and still deliver greater impact isnt simply cutting costs. Those looking to build a stronger future should avoid a slash and burn approach, as it will hurt their chances of developing the tools and process they need to succeed.

Instead, its about having and maintaining an infrastructure that supports and manages all of these competing demands. The good news is that modern technology is now making it possible to handle the operational complexity of the modern working environment to keep your projects on track, your people engaged, and your research efficiency improved.

But how do you make that happen?

How to make your research operations more effective in the face of competing demands

The key to more effective research finance and operational planning comes from three core pillars:

  1. Ensuring you dedicate the right talent and resources to the right research projects.
  2. Ensuring that team members can collect and access relevant project plan information and analysis in simple, actionable, timely, and specific ways
  3. Ensuring that your people can collaborate easily and complete the necessary day-to-day tasks within a project wherever they are.

Having the technology to manage your operations in this way is key to delivering better results even under the demands of smaller budgets and shorter timescales. To find out how, we go into these critical pillars to more efficient research operations in our recent white paper, The key to effective research? Make managing research finance and operational planning easier, which you can download today here.

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