What Being An R&D Coordinator In A Local NGO Is Like: It’s Not As People Perceive

It’s not just about local NGOs. Global NGO’s can benefit from R&D, like The Blockchain Education Network’s Turkey R&D branch. Here are some tips for being an R&D manager in a local arm of a global network.

1-You don’t have to be the most technical guy to lead the R&D members

I had a moment when I learned that the most technical people in R&D departments aren’t necessarily the best at management positions. When I asked my friend who works in project management, he told me that I’d need to focus more on strategy because of my managerial position. And he continued telling me that it’d also affect my career. I listened to him, and I had much more knowledge in different aspects of blockchain in business, finance, and fintech (financial technologies). Even more, I had to analyze a case study and prepare business plans to pass three of my courses.

2-You have to understand the technical aspects of a technology

Even though you don’t have to know as much technical knowledge as a developer, you still need to understand the technical sides of blockchain and its applications in technical fields to provide a product and a solution. Moreover, the technical side of blockchain is not purely programming and computer science. It involves economics, statistics, game theory, and sometimes stochastic processes to understand blockchain technology as a whole.

3-You need to lead people

Being an R&D manager is not like what a typical leader does in this instance. Instead, you have to assign tasks, telling your team how they could be done, their resources, and deadlines. Even more, you have to be hands-on with the team to be a productive department in the whole organization. Moreover, strong interpersonal skills and high resilience is also necessary to keep the department together in the face of adversity and striving to be better.

4-You might need to write whitepapers and business plans

You’re probably not going to be writing business plans, but you’ll frequently write whitepapers with your team. Sometimes you have to write business plans when technical details are needed to be interpreted by someone who has detailed information about the project and the job. So that’s why you might need to be prepared to write business plans to clarify on technical aspects of your business to make participants and investors clear about the details and to make sure that every detail is checked.

Do you have any other tips for being an R&D coordinator in a local NGO? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments section below.

About Ata Tekeli: I’m a coordinator in BEN Turkey responsible for the Technology and R&D department. I’m also the founding vice president and editor at the Istanbul University Blockchain Technology Club. My main interests are blockchain R&D, mathematics and statistics.

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