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SRED Process Thinking - Part 1

SRED Process Thinking - Part 1

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Published by SRED Unlimited
Bruce Madole examines the concepts and characteristics of a framework for pursuing SR&ED, and reflects on the processes that might be needed as part of such a framework.

( http://www.sredunlimited.com )
Bruce Madole examines the concepts and characteristics of a framework for pursuing SR&ED, and reflects on the processes that might be needed as part of such a framework.

( http://www.sredunlimited.com )

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Published by: SRED Unlimited on Nov 12, 2010
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01/21/2011

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Copyright 2010 Bruce MadoleSR&ED and
SR&ED Process Thinking: “SR&ED and …”
This article talks about SR&ED process thinking, first by examining the conceptand characteristics of a framework for pursuing SR&ED, and then, secondly, byreflecting on the processes that might be needed as a part of such a framework.I think a spider web is a useful paradigm for building SR&ED-supportive processes within your company. Have you ever watched a spider spinning a web? Onetiny thread patiently joined from one point to another, until eventually … coverage.I don’t want to extend this example tediously, but there are three aspects to thespider’s web that are worth commenting on: linkages, framework, and coverage.First, you start with
linkages
– one thing links to another, and to another.Technical SR&ED work needs to be linked to the evidence of the work, which needs to be linked to the costs of doing that work. Creating those linkages, the chain of evidencefrom the SR&ED and supporting work to the costs, is something that you should think about frequently. As I see it, this “thinking about SR&ED” is a matter of habit. You getused to thinking about “
SR&ED and 
…something” -- SR&ED and project management,SR&ED and project costing, SR&ED and payroll , SR&ED and … nearly everything.From the gradual accumulation of linkages, one develops a
 framework 
– astructure that needs to be both
lightweight 
and
comprehensive
. Both of these are essentialattributes. The framework needs to be
lightweight 
, because SR&ED is about supportingyour business, and it is the business that drives the technical work. The SR&EDframework also needs to be
comprehensive
, because it is meant to help you maximize
This document is the property of Bruce Madole, and is used by permission. All rights are reserved. The opinions expressed herein are personal, created for entertainment andinformation purposes, and are not intended to be relied on in place of professional counsel or advice. No part of this document may be re-used, transmitted or re-transmittedwithout the express prior written consent of the author, who can be contacted at: brucemadole@sympatico.ca 
 
Copyright 2010 Bruce MadoleSR&ED andyour SR&ED claims, so as to take best advantage of the benefits for which you may beentitled.Finally, your framework needs to provide
coverage
. Once you have establishedlinkages, and developed a framework that is sustainable and lightweight, then theemphasis on coverage is about working to fill in the gaps and weaknesses in your SR&ED process.Of course, a framework feels like a fairly static thing – it’s not exactly a process, but more like the context for processes -- so thinking about or planning a framework,while it is important, is not going to be enough. So far, I’ve talked about the attributes or characteristics of a SR&ED framework – but what actually should make up such aframework?I think there are at least three major aspects to a SR&ED framework, and maybemore, that should be embodied within processes and sub-processes.First off, there needs to be a process – call it the Science process -- that surroundsthe technical work itself … from the initial identification of potential SR&ED, to dealingwith the actual SR&ED work, up to the detection of the end of SR&ED. That Science process needs to include the following sub-processes:
detection
(or recognition) and
documentation
. There also needs to be a second major process – call it the FinancialProcess – that concerns itself with demonstrating and quantifying the linkages betweenthe Science effort and the costs, as well as satisfying some criteria around the nature of those costs. The third and final process revolves around filing the claim – as a part of 
This document is the property of Bruce Madole, and is used by permission. All rights are reserved. The opinions expressed herein are personal, created for entertainment andinformation purposes, and are not intended to be relied on in place of professional counsel or advice. No part of this document may be re-used, transmitted or re-transmittedwithout the express prior written consent of the author, who can be contacted at: brucemadole@sympatico.ca 
 
Copyright 2010 Bruce MadoleSR&ED andyour corporate taxes – and organizing your resources – material and human – to defend aSR&ED claim once it is made and is being subject to review.Process thinking, for SR&ED, should be a cycle that strives continuously toachieve near-effortless and reflexive identification of potentially eligible work, followedor augmented by a relentless determination to first document and then demonstrate thelinkages between the eligible work and its associated costs.As I discussed above, these processes need to be extremely lightweight, becausemost companies are in the “business” business, which is to say, manufacturing, or computer programming, or tool and die work, etc., or whatever business they happen to be in. SR&ED is supposed to help by mitigating the costs of technical risk, by supportingthe development of new and improved products and services, and by providing afinancial incentive for the pursuit of new knowledge, experimentally.The initial efforts to develop a SR&ED Framework, and the necessary supporting processes, may mean that the SR&ED program strives first for effectiveness and thensecondarily, for efficiency. SR&ED process thinking entails a paring down of anythingthat isn’t the minimum required effort to achieve that desired effectiveness, because your effectiveness depends on the full cooperation of others who do not, in all likelihood,share your concerns. They have other jobs to do – technical, financial, etc – and whatyou are asking of them will require cooperation and effective “buy in” to justify what will be, at the very least, an unusual demand on their time. Keeping things lightweight, andtrimming down the level of interruption or extra effort, where you can, is critical for thesuccess of your framework and processes.
This document is the property of Bruce Madole, and is used by permission. All rights are reserved. The opinions expressed herein are personal, created for entertainment andinformation purposes, and are not intended to be relied on in place of professional counsel or advice. No part of this document may be re-used, transmitted or re-transmittedwithout the express prior written consent of the author, who can be contacted at: brucemadole@sympatico.ca 

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