This is the blog of Ant Miller, senior research manager and dilettante geek at large at the BBC.
I wail moan and cuss about the challenges and fun to be found here.
These are my personal opinions, and not those of my employer. Or anyone else here for that matter.

Friday, March 27, 2009

Refocusing on the Future

In the last week or so the R&D department has laid its plans for the future out in some detail, at least internally. The intention is that by the beginning of April we will have a solid 'workplan' for the next year or so, and will begin a new, regular cycle of quarterly review, and twice annual reassesment.

The first cycle of assesment of projects, and the general reorganisation that has followed, has been pretty radical. Overall we have decided to end 51 out of 90 current R&D projects. Over the next three to six months the research effort within the BBC will be wound down, and documentation, software hardware and other materials will be collated, archived and, where suitable, published to our colleagues and in some cases the wider world.

This doesn't mean that the projects come to a dead stop though- for instance the Dirac effort will go through a full certification process, and will continue to be developed for key applications, such as archival file formats, but it looks like the focus will shift away from formal research.

At the same time as some long running efforts have been marked to conclude (or transition into development), five more projects proposed by R&D staff have been given the green light, and another eight requested by the business are to begin- so it's not all about 'endings'. Plus, and for me most importantly, we are shaking up the structure. Now, instead of the traditional 'portfolios' we are having 'sections'- seven of them in four key areas. And one of those sections is explicitly focussed on archive work, and includes all the previously distributed (and slightly 'cinderalla') Archive R&D effort. Whoot!

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