There is a popular myth that ...
some software development projects are research and aren't subject to normal business management processes
I'm here to tell you this ain't true. I've managed several pure and applied research projects in my life, including my graduate research. This experience includes bio-pharma, engineering development, and physics research projects - all software intensive.
Research projects start with a hypothesis,
A Hypothesis is a supposition or proposed explanation made on the basis of limited evidence as a starting point for further investigation.
This is the target of the research. The why of the effort. Without this hypothesis it's not research, it's wandering around looking under rocks for something. Something that you may not even recognize is what you're looking for.
So don't fall for the claim that I can't know when I'll be done, how much it will cost, or what Done looks like because we're working on innovation or PURE research.
Those who work on research projects and work on innovative design projects have a goal - a hypothesis. They wrote that down before they started. It's in their grant proposal. It's in their funding request. You self-funding, you'd better write that done as well, or your money is going to be wasted looking under rocks for that magic item that you don't even know will sell.