Based on a comprehensive literature review and the activities of numerous case study companies, it is argued in this paper that performance measurement in R&D is a fundamental aspect to quality in R&D and to overall business performance. However, it is apparent from the case companies that many companies still struggle with the issue of R&D performance measurement. Excuses for not measuring are easily found, but there are also empirical examples and literature available with suggestions how it can be done. In this article this literature is reviewed and placed within the context of general performance control and contingency theory. Furthermore, the main measurement system design parameters are discussed and some basic system requirements are described as well as several design principles that can be useful for those who accept the challenge of establishing a meaningful measurement system.