Jesse Aronson

Paper: Project Management for R&D and Innovation

Abstract: Research and development (R&D) efforts differ from traditional projects in a number of ways. The outcome of the project and the steps to get there may be ill-defined, visionary, or even un-achievable. The desired result of R&D may be increased knowledge, a design or prototype, or a new product, and different stakeholders may have fundamentally different visions of the what form that result should take. As a result of these characteristics, scope and risk have to be considered differently in research and development than in traditional projects. Similar considerations hold true for other aspects of R&D including personnel, schedule, budget and stakeholder management. These characteristics make R&D a distinctive kind of project, and success requires techniques which are distinctly different from traditional project management. This paper presents an R&D Project Management methodology honed over years of real-world experience, and presents ideas that can be useful in more typical projects as well.

Biography: Jesse Aronson is currently employed by Leidos Biomedical Research, serving as Director of the Data Science and IT Project Management Office at the Frederick National Laboratory for Cancer Research. He has over thirty years of project management experience in the government science and technology space, working with organizations including NASA, DARPA, NIH, and DHS S&T. He has also managed technology scouting and solution architecture efforts, both at Virginia’s Center for Innovative Technology and at SAIC, where as a technology Vice President he headed the company’s enterprise solution center.

Mr. Aronson holds a B.E. in Electrical Engineering from The Cooper Union and an M.S. in Electrical Engineering from NYU Polytechnic Institute of New York.