When R&D and Dev have incompatible solution handoffs

The background to the incompatibilities is rooted in the separation of concerns, R&D must innovate while the Devs must maintain. There are several best practices that can help improve the handoff between R&D and Dev teams when their solutions are incompatible:

1. Increase collaboration during the solution design phase. Have members of the R&D and Dev teams pair up or work together in integrated teams. This can help the R&D team design solutions that are more aligned with what the Dev team can actually build and implement. 

agreements by DevOps.

2. Have the Dev team review and provide feedback on solutions early. Don’t wait until requirements are finalized before involving the Dev team. Early feedback can help identify where designs may need to change to be implemented in a practical fashion. Fro example Or invite the Devs to milestone reviews such as the requirements, preliminary and detail design reviews. Make this an open, collaborative process, not a confrontational one. 

3. Focus on modular, flexible solutions. The R&D team should design solutions that can be broken down into smaller components that can be implemented incrementally if needed. This gives the Dev team more flexibility in how they build and roll out the solutions according to their concerns.

4. Standardize tools, processes, and methods where possible. The more the R&D and Dev teams can align on technical standards, the less rework will be required to translate R&D concepts into engineering implementations. However, care must be taken not to limit innovation.

5. Improve documentation and requirements handoff. The R&D team needs to provide very detailed technical specifications, user stories, visualizations, and any other documentation that can clearly articulate solution requirements to the Dev teams. Requirements should be prioritized and non-ambiguous. This enables the Dev teams to decompose the solution and plan for integration in the production architecture; to plan for security and compliance audits by SecOps audits and to plan for how to maintain the service level

6. Consider reorganizing teams to create “end-to-end” ownership. If incompatibilities stem from lack of shared ownership, consider restructuring so that integrated teams have responsibility for solutions from design through development to launch. This can break down barriers and encourage better handoffs. See the At-Scale post on platform operating models

7. Address cultural barriers and build mutual understanding. Differences in mindset, values, and ways of working can sometimes lead to incompatibilities between R&D and Dev teams. 

Leadership should work to foster an open, shared culture that bridges these gaps through open communication, cross-team interactions, and highlighting the interdependence of these teams.With improvements in collaboration, communication, cultural alignment, and ownership structures, R&D and Dev teams can overcome incompatibilities and improve the solution handoff process. But it requires effort and commitment from leadership and personnel in both teams.

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