This research is based on a twelve-year period, where an Information Technology Center division of a financial services company, clamed R&D tax credits for some IT projects. This process created an archive of timesheet data for all R&D project and No R&D projects, with detailed R&D descriptions for the projects claimed as R&D. Project is the (Unit of Analysis).
Although the term Research and Development (R&D) raises the image of laboratories in the industrial and science sectors, we know from sectorial studies of government tax incentive data, the financial services sector reports significant R&D (Miles, 2007).
Much of this reported R&D appears relevant for information technology projects. However, that is the limit of our knowledge – there are no known studies systematically examining which projects are claimed as R&D, as well as the underlying conditions under which R&D is required and performed. Additionally, the research dilemma is that traditional frameworks to study IT projects are built on a premise of technological certainty. However, R&D projects are based on technological uncertainty, which typical prescriptive IT project research models do not include.
R&D projects in the financial services sector are mainly detected post project for R&D tax credit purposes. With this in mind, the research question aims to determine whether there is a quantitative difference for proportions of effort or other measurable differences in the Plan, Design, Build and Test phases between R&D and No R&D projects.