How to Adapt Your Team as Your Project Moves Through the TRLs

Learning Centre > How to Adapt Your Team as Your Project Moves Through the TRLs

As your team begins developing new technology, it's important to have a clear understanding of the TRLs, and how your team will need to adapt to each stage.

As your team begins developing new technology, it's important to have a clear understanding of the TRLs, and how your team will need to adapt to each stage.As your team begins developing new technology, it's important to have a clear understanding of the TRLs, and how your team will need to adapt to each stage.
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Watching your team's dynamics is essential as your project moves through the TRLs. At lower TRLs, you'll likely have a small group of experts familiar with the technology being developed. But as you move into higher TRLs and begin to test prototypes in real-life conditions, you'll need to expand your team to include different expertise. For example, you may need to bring in mechanical engineers to help with prototyping or user experience designers to help with product testing. And so on. So your team must know how to adapt and adjust their approach as new challenges arise. We'll discuss some tips for doing that in this article!

The team's changing composition

A new product development project's TRL will likely dictate the team's initial composition. The team will be experts familiar with the technology being developed for early-stage projects. These individuals work together to establish feasibility and create a proof of concept. The team size is usually small at this stage, as only a few individuals are needed to assess the project's feasibility.

As the project begins to take shape and move into higher TRLs, the team size will need to increase to accommodate different areas of expertise. For example, at TRL six, a full-scale prototype is usually created and tested in a controlled environment. The team will need to include mechanical engineers and user experience designers to do this effectively.

Knowing when to adapt your team

As your project moves through the TRLs, it's essential to watch for signs that indicate your team might need to be adapted. For example, if you're having trouble making progress at a certain TRL, it may be because you don't have the right mix of experts on your team. In this case, expanding your team to include individuals with different expertise may be necessary.

Another sign that your team might need to be adapted is if you're consistently running into conflicts or roadblocks; this can signify that the team isn't working together effectively and that a change is needed. If this is the case, try rearranging the team's composition or structure to see if that helps.

Specific tasks and roles that need to be adapted

When your project reaches a new TRL, it's essential to review and adapt your team accordingly. This may mean adding or removing members, depending on the project's needs. For example, if you're moving from TRL 3 to TRL 4, you may need to add a mechanical engineer to your team. Alternatively, suppose you're moving from TRL 6 to TRL 7. In that case, you may need to replace the user experience designer with a marketing specialist.

As your project moves through the TRLs, specific tasks and roles will need to be adapted. For example, at TRL 4, you'll need to start testing prototypes in real-world conditions. This will require you to expand your team to include individuals with different expertise, like mechanical engineers and user experience designers.

At TRL 6, you'll need to create a full-scale prototype and test it in a controlled environment. This will require you to bring on additional team members with the necessary expertise. And at TRL 9, you'll need to commercialise the product. Again, this will require you to work with marketing and sales teams to get the product out.

Knowing when to adapt the team

As your project moves through the TRLs, paying attention to the signs that indicate a need for change is essential. Adapting your team as your project progresses will help you ensure that your team is constantly working effectively towards the success of your project. There are a few key indicators that suggest it may be time to adapt your team:

Lack of progress:

If your team is not making the progress you expect, it may be time to adapt your team. For example, try adding new members with fresh perspectives or rearranging tasks to better utilise your team's strengths.

Ineffective communication:

If you find that communication breaks down within your team, it may be time to implement some changes. For example, try holding regular team meetings to promote open communication or establish clear responsibility lines to avoid confusion.

Increased stress levels:

Notice that your team members are experiencing increased stress levels. It may be time to reevaluate how you are utilising their skills. For example, try delegating tasks more evenly or giving team members more autonomy over their work.

By paying attention to the signs that indicate a need for change, you can ensure that your team is constantly working effectively towards

What happens if you don't adapt your team?

If you don't adapt your team as your project moves through the TRLs, you risk stagnation. You may find yourself stuck at a certain TRL because you don't have the right mix of experts on your team. And this can ultimately delay or prevent your product from reaching the market.

Adapting your team for success

To ensure that your team can adapt as needed, it's crucial to have a few key things. First, you need to clearly understand the project's goals and objectives. This will help you identify the expertise required at each stage of development.

Second, you need to clearly understand the team's strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify areas where the team might need to be adapted.

And finally, you need to be willing to adapt as needed. Things constantly change in product development, so it's essential to be flexible and adaptable.

Common issues

As projects move through the TRLs, teams must adapt their approach to account for different challenges.

One common issue is scope creep, which can occur when the team's original goals and objectives change. This usually happens as new information is learned about the project. For example, a team might initially plan to develop a new product. Still, as they know more about the market and the competition, they might decide to pivot to a different product. Scope creep can be frustrating for team members. Still, it's important to remember that it's often an unavoidable part of the project development process.

Another common issue is unrealistic timelines, which can often be caused by a lack of understanding of the project's complexity. For example, a team might underestimate the time it will take to develop a new feature, or they might not account for the need for extensive testing. Unrealistic timelines can create unnecessary stress for team members and jeopardise the project's success.

Teams need to be aware of these common issues and plan accordingly. By understanding the potential challenges, groups can be better prepared to manage them and ultimately succeed.

Handling conflicts in an adapted team

As any team leader knows, conflict is inevitable. Whether it's disagreements over the best way to complete a task or dissatisfaction with someone's work habits, conflict is a natural part of working in a group. However, not all conflict is destructive. In fact, some conflicts can actually be beneficial, helping to expose problems and spark new ideas. The key is to handle conflict constructively and positively. This starts with having a clear and concise understanding of the team's goals. If everyone is on the same page, staying focused on the task at hand will be easier. If conflicts do arise, they should be addressed openly and honestly. With everyone working towards the same goal, the team will be stronger and more successful.

Tools and techniques

A few tools and techniques can help teams track their project's TRLs and adapt their approach accordingly. One tool is a Gantt chart, which can track the project's timeline and milestones. Another helpful tool is a work breakdown structure (WBS), which can help teams identify and track the different tasks that need to be completed.

Our Product Readiness Levels explainer sheet also helps you to compare and understand the difference between the various readiness maturity levels, such as the TRL, the MRL (Manufacturing Readiness Level), the CRL (Commercial Readiness Level), and the Enterprise Readiness Level (ERL).

Starting out

As you begin your journey towards developing new technology, it is vital to understand the Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). The TRLs provide a framework for assessing the maturity of a given technology and can be used to guide your team's efforts as you progress through the various stages of development. It is worth noting that the composition of your team is likely to change as you move through the TRLs. For example, early on, you may primarily rely on internal resources, such as R&D staff, to develop your technology. However, as you move closer to commercialisation, you may need additional experts, such as marketing and sales professionals, to help bring your product to market. By clearly understanding the TRLs, you can ensure that your team has the skills and expertise necessary to successfully develop your technology.

Conclusion

Technology Readiness Levels are a valuable tool for assessing the maturity of a given technology. They can guide your team's efforts and ensure that you have the necessary skills and expertise at each stage of development. In addition, by understanding the TRLs, you can be better prepared to manage the challenges of developing new technology and bring your product to market.

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Watching your team's dynamics is essential as your project moves through the TRLs. At lower TRLs, you'll likely have a small group of experts familiar with the technology being developed. But as you move into higher TRLs and begin to test prototypes in real-life conditions, you'll need to expand your team to include different expertise. For example, you may need to bring in mechanical engineers to help with prototyping or user experience designers to help with product testing. And so on. So your team must know how to adapt and adjust their approach as new challenges arise. We'll discuss some tips for doing that in this article!

The team's changing composition

A new product development project's TRL will likely dictate the team's initial composition. The team will be experts familiar with the technology being developed for early-stage projects. These individuals work together to establish feasibility and create a proof of concept. The team size is usually small at this stage, as only a few individuals are needed to assess the project's feasibility.

As the project begins to take shape and move into higher TRLs, the team size will need to increase to accommodate different areas of expertise. For example, at TRL six, a full-scale prototype is usually created and tested in a controlled environment. The team will need to include mechanical engineers and user experience designers to do this effectively.

Knowing when to adapt your team

As your project moves through the TRLs, it's essential to watch for signs that indicate your team might need to be adapted. For example, if you're having trouble making progress at a certain TRL, it may be because you don't have the right mix of experts on your team. In this case, expanding your team to include individuals with different expertise may be necessary.

Another sign that your team might need to be adapted is if you're consistently running into conflicts or roadblocks; this can signify that the team isn't working together effectively and that a change is needed. If this is the case, try rearranging the team's composition or structure to see if that helps.

Specific tasks and roles that need to be adapted

When your project reaches a new TRL, it's essential to review and adapt your team accordingly. This may mean adding or removing members, depending on the project's needs. For example, if you're moving from TRL 3 to TRL 4, you may need to add a mechanical engineer to your team. Alternatively, suppose you're moving from TRL 6 to TRL 7. In that case, you may need to replace the user experience designer with a marketing specialist.

As your project moves through the TRLs, specific tasks and roles will need to be adapted. For example, at TRL 4, you'll need to start testing prototypes in real-world conditions. This will require you to expand your team to include individuals with different expertise, like mechanical engineers and user experience designers.

At TRL 6, you'll need to create a full-scale prototype and test it in a controlled environment. This will require you to bring on additional team members with the necessary expertise. And at TRL 9, you'll need to commercialise the product. Again, this will require you to work with marketing and sales teams to get the product out.

Knowing when to adapt the team

As your project moves through the TRLs, paying attention to the signs that indicate a need for change is essential. Adapting your team as your project progresses will help you ensure that your team is constantly working effectively towards the success of your project. There are a few key indicators that suggest it may be time to adapt your team:

Lack of progress:

If your team is not making the progress you expect, it may be time to adapt your team. For example, try adding new members with fresh perspectives or rearranging tasks to better utilise your team's strengths.

Ineffective communication:

If you find that communication breaks down within your team, it may be time to implement some changes. For example, try holding regular team meetings to promote open communication or establish clear responsibility lines to avoid confusion.

Increased stress levels:

Notice that your team members are experiencing increased stress levels. It may be time to reevaluate how you are utilising their skills. For example, try delegating tasks more evenly or giving team members more autonomy over their work.

By paying attention to the signs that indicate a need for change, you can ensure that your team is constantly working effectively towards

What happens if you don't adapt your team?

If you don't adapt your team as your project moves through the TRLs, you risk stagnation. You may find yourself stuck at a certain TRL because you don't have the right mix of experts on your team. And this can ultimately delay or prevent your product from reaching the market.

Adapting your team for success

To ensure that your team can adapt as needed, it's crucial to have a few key things. First, you need to clearly understand the project's goals and objectives. This will help you identify the expertise required at each stage of development.

Second, you need to clearly understand the team's strengths and weaknesses. This will help you identify areas where the team might need to be adapted.

And finally, you need to be willing to adapt as needed. Things constantly change in product development, so it's essential to be flexible and adaptable.

Common issues

As projects move through the TRLs, teams must adapt their approach to account for different challenges.

One common issue is scope creep, which can occur when the team's original goals and objectives change. This usually happens as new information is learned about the project. For example, a team might initially plan to develop a new product. Still, as they know more about the market and the competition, they might decide to pivot to a different product. Scope creep can be frustrating for team members. Still, it's important to remember that it's often an unavoidable part of the project development process.

Another common issue is unrealistic timelines, which can often be caused by a lack of understanding of the project's complexity. For example, a team might underestimate the time it will take to develop a new feature, or they might not account for the need for extensive testing. Unrealistic timelines can create unnecessary stress for team members and jeopardise the project's success.

Teams need to be aware of these common issues and plan accordingly. By understanding the potential challenges, groups can be better prepared to manage them and ultimately succeed.

Handling conflicts in an adapted team

As any team leader knows, conflict is inevitable. Whether it's disagreements over the best way to complete a task or dissatisfaction with someone's work habits, conflict is a natural part of working in a group. However, not all conflict is destructive. In fact, some conflicts can actually be beneficial, helping to expose problems and spark new ideas. The key is to handle conflict constructively and positively. This starts with having a clear and concise understanding of the team's goals. If everyone is on the same page, staying focused on the task at hand will be easier. If conflicts do arise, they should be addressed openly and honestly. With everyone working towards the same goal, the team will be stronger and more successful.

Tools and techniques

A few tools and techniques can help teams track their project's TRLs and adapt their approach accordingly. One tool is a Gantt chart, which can track the project's timeline and milestones. Another helpful tool is a work breakdown structure (WBS), which can help teams identify and track the different tasks that need to be completed.

Our Product Readiness Levels explainer sheet also helps you to compare and understand the difference between the various readiness maturity levels, such as the TRL, the MRL (Manufacturing Readiness Level), the CRL (Commercial Readiness Level), and the Enterprise Readiness Level (ERL).

Starting out

As you begin your journey towards developing new technology, it is vital to understand the Technology Readiness Levels (TRLs). The TRLs provide a framework for assessing the maturity of a given technology and can be used to guide your team's efforts as you progress through the various stages of development. It is worth noting that the composition of your team is likely to change as you move through the TRLs. For example, early on, you may primarily rely on internal resources, such as R&D staff, to develop your technology. However, as you move closer to commercialisation, you may need additional experts, such as marketing and sales professionals, to help bring your product to market. By clearly understanding the TRLs, you can ensure that your team has the skills and expertise necessary to successfully develop your technology.

Conclusion

Technology Readiness Levels are a valuable tool for assessing the maturity of a given technology. They can guide your team's efforts and ensure that you have the necessary skills and expertise at each stage of development. In addition, by understanding the TRLs, you can be better prepared to manage the challenges of developing new technology and bring your product to market.

Key Takeways

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Farm+Stable is a client of Innovolo, a product development as a service provider offering R&D teams globally extra capacity, capability, and momentum in their product development and obsolescence management projects. As a company that specializes in the development and engineering of products for the agriculture and construction industries, Farm+Stable has benefited from Innovolo's expertise in helping to bring new products to market quickly and efficiently. In particular, Farm+Stable has been able to rely on Innovolo's team of experienced engineers to help with the design and development of a new line of products that are designed to be more durable and longer-lasting than previous models. With Innovolo's help, Farm+Stable has been able to bring these new products to market in a timely manner, and they have been well-received by customers. Thanks to Innovolo's innovative product development solutions, Farm+Stable has been able to stay ahead of the competition and continue to grow their business.
Innovolo is a product development as a service provider. It offers R&D teams globally extra capacity, capability, and momentum in their product development and obsolescence management projects. Its services are used by clients in a variety of industries, including automotive, aerospace, consumer electronics, and medical devices. One of its clients is Kawneer, a leading manufacturer of aluminum products for the architectural and construction industries. Kawneer has been using Innovolo's services to help develop new products and to manage the obsolescence of its existing products. Thanks to Innovolo, Kawneer has been able to speed up its product development cycle and to reduce its costs. As a result, Kawneer has been able to bring new products to market faster and to better meet the needs of its customers.

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