Fundamentals of technology roadmapping

The main benefit of technology roadmapping is that it provides information to make better technology investment decisions by identifying critical technologies and technology gaps and identifying ways to leverage R&D investments.

Technology roadmapping is critical when the technology investment decision is not straightforward.

This can occur when it is not clear which alternative to pursue, how quickly the technology is needed, or when there is a need to coordinate the development of multiple technologies.

Roadmapping Sandia Labs

Credit Sandia Labs

In this paper, authors Garcia and Bray give a good overview of the roadmapping approach and focus on formalizing the process so that it can be more broadly and easily used.

The process consists of three phases

Preliminary activity

  • Satisfy essential conditions
  • Provide leadership/sponsorship
  • Define the scope and boundaries for the technology roadmap.

Development of the technology roadmap

  • Identify the “product” that will be the focus of the roadmap
  • Identify the critical system requirements and their targets
  • Specify the major technology areas
  • Specify the technology drivers and their targets
  • Identify technology alternatives and their time lines
  • Recommend the technology alternatives that should be pursued
  • Create the technology roadmap report.

Follow-up activity

  • Critique and validate the roadmap
  • Develop an implementation plan
  • Review and update.

Read the full paper:

Fundamentals of Technology RoadmappingMarie L. Garcia and Olin H. Bray. Strategic Business Development Department, Sandia National Laboratories 1997

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