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An investigation into the current practice of project portfolio selection in research and development division of the South African minerals and energy industry

K.-H. Rutsch, P.J. Viljoen & H. Steyn.

Project selection and the development of a portfolio of projects in line with corporate strategy is an important task of managers of research units. The projects selected have to meet the appropriate time frame for completion and delivery, a suitable risk profile and other distinct factors in order to pursue corporate objectives successfully. The authors believe that R&D project portfolio selection approaches required or applied in the process industry differ from the approaches used for selecting new product development projects, on which most literature is focused.

A case study approach was used to investigate the current practice of project portfolio selection in South African R&D divisions within the minerals and energy industry. It was found that all companies interviewed during this study employ a semi-formal approach to select their R&D project portfolio.

A formal process is followed for decision making, but no formal tools are applied to select the R&D portfolios, such as suggested by literature.

The Journal of The Southern African Institute of Mining and Metallurgy Volume 106, October 2006

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