Successful technology transfer requires more than just moving better ideas from research into operations. It starts with the allocation of capital and manpower resources among those projects which will maximize the value of the total effort. It means measuring the contribution of the research staff as well as broadening the skills of the technologists. And of course people must have an incentive not to fear failure, for no idea is guaranteed. This paper shows how one research facility handled these problems.

Each researcher earned scores in subjects like oral and written communication, organization, creativity, etc. and competed against standards for each skill already existing in the lab. Management required no Supermen. The creativity ideal, for example, was a real live person just down the hall. These scores led directly to a salary target which existed on a market curve, i.e. what the market place pays for similar skills. In defiance of Human Resources counsel about the desirability of "5% merit raises," the R&D manager recognized the obvious and strove to give whatever raise would get people up to "market."

Management subjected each project to expected value analysis — chance of success times value if successful. More important, project teams reported in person to the Production Research Executive Planning Committee at least once a year to explain those chances and values. That Committee, chaired by the corporate Executive VP in charge of worldwide oil and gas activities, gave outstanding visibility opportunities for technologists, both in operations and research. Imagine the motivation.

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