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29th October 2020

7 scary things that haunt R&D teams and how to fight them

How to win as an R&D team in 2021 and scare off the monsters lurking in your products. A Halloween themed blog special. Who will you call?

1. You get the perfect client but don’t have capacity

Imagine your favourite Halloween film, if scary movies are your thing of course! There’s usually a hero who survives to the end. Imagine they are your perfect customer. They’ve magically walked into your life (or most likely been brought in by a large combination of sales and marketing efforts), you finally hook them but then you realise to your horror…

It’s a race against time

You’re never going to hit their product launch deadline on time, and your sales team have already promised the customer delivery by their ideal date. Your team are fully booked for weeks or even months and the only slot you can even contemplate moving is reserved for a loyal customer. Do you really want to damage your relationship with one of your most lucrative clients? Well no, but you also would be devastated to lose this golden opportunity. What’s more you know this client could be a great source for word of mouth referrals, you can’t afford to let a competitor ride off into the sunset with this perfect new prospect.

Who can you call?

So, what do you do? In ghostbusters they call, you guessed it…except this time you can call Ignys.

Our gear isn’t quite as exciting as theirs but we still have a great team of monster hunters equipped to the max with all kinds of tech, who can spot the bugs in your client’s projects.

Use our borrow an engineer service for as many days as you need.

2. The dreaded IR35 comes back to get you

Once upon a time April 2021 seemed rather far away. But now it’s getting closer and closer like a creature lurking in the shadows.

IR35 has been introduced to ensure that employers don’t use contractors as secret employees. Simply business has a great IR35 guide if you want to read more.

IR35 as a summary

“From 6 April 2021, all public sector clients and medium or large-sized private sector clients will be responsible for deciding your worker’s employment status. This includes some charities and third sector organisations.” Reference Gov UK

This could mean extra tax implications, or you may suddenly find it harder to source and retain trustworthy contractors.

Working with Ignys means you have a team you can come back to time and time again without having to worry about IR35.

3. Your product’s battery life isn’t up to the task

It seems that every horror film since mobile phones were invented includes that moment when the phone battery runs out just as they are calling for help.

Now replace that analogy with the moment the end user starts to fall in love with your product and how reliable it is, only for it to let them down with poor battery life. Hurt by this lack of power, the end users go online or back to your customer service team in droves complaining that your product is not how they imagined it would be.

Why reviews will keep you afloat

Reviews are known to have a heavy bearing on whether a product is purchased in the first place. Given that your Return On Investment relies heavily on hitting sales targets to balance the books and invest in new product development you really need that product to be a success; to gain trust from your customers and other internal departments.

More power Igor!

We use Power Consumption Reduction to combat this. Or as young Frankenstein would say “More Power Igor!” You may simply increase the capacity of the battery pack you choose if you have margin and space to spare, alternatively some level of redesign of hardware or firmware can be made to use less energy from the existing pack.

Don’t let your product fall at the last hurdle and ensure the end credits role with your customer’s being delighted at your products. All whilst keeping those product costs down and the product margins high.

4. Forget fear…product testing bores the life out of you

Here’s an apocalypse novel idea, the monster bores everyone to death. You just want to get first mover advantage and get the product out as soon as possible but between compliance, technical specifications and checking for bugs you are drowning in paperwork.

Well that’s what we’re here for! Our engineers are strange beasts who actually happen to enjoy these tedious product testing tasks (or more often put a test environment together to automate the more monotonous tasks) so why not hand it over to us whilst you do the parts of your job that really make you tick.

Keep the creepy crawlies away

What’s more our domain experience means we can find extra bugs for you. A second pair of eyes over a project can do wonders.  Give the product to our MD and he’ll break it in seconds!

5. Your contractor is nowhere to be found

There is always that tragic character who doesn’t make it to the end of the film because they were relying on someone else who let them down! Trying to find someone reliable to share your product projects with can be a highly frustrating and disappointing affair.  There are many partners that become invisible and uncontactable just before a demonstration or launch!

Luckily, we have lots of case study examples and google reviews to prove we won’t leave you stranded. We offer a Borrow an engineer and virtual CTO package so you can dip into our services as and when you need them.

6. Your roadmap has gone down the rabbit hole

Most horror films start with a car going down the wrong road and falling victim to something scary. Imagine your engineering team is in that car and that road is your roadmap; with specifications and scope which is full of cobwebs without any real direction or focus.

Define your minimum feature set, the ultimate product and the interim releases to realise the full vision.  Chances are the first product launch will change the rest of the roadmap when customers use the product in different ways than intended and give feedback on their likes and dislikes.

7. Technical know-how trips you up

Finally, falling over at the least opportune moment is another film cliché. The end of product development is where the diligence, effort and processes come together to deliver.  This can unravel at the end if there is too much technical debt, lack of understanding around production and compliance or significant issues are identified far too late on.

How checklists keep away the ghouls

We design, test and verify electronics day in day out so between us we’ve uncovered the vast majority of mistakes and put processes and checklists around them to prevent them reoccurring.  To go more quickly and smoothly its quicker to use our experience than to make mistakes on your own.

Hide from the monsters

If any of the above issues sound familiar to you how do you feel about a call next week? We do virtual calls over teams so you can call us from your office, home or cupboard (if you are hiding from the monsters of course!

Book a call

Not scared enough yet?

Read our product development Halloween nightmares article new for 2021

If you’re an R&D team you may be interested in….

Our borrow an engineer service

Get that engineering boost you need and solve those difficult technical issues causing havoc with your project

Cost savings from borrowing an engineer 

Your customers read reviews for proof that they can trust the products you help to develop. In the same way we share our case studies and testimonials to show you what customers think of us.