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 Roadmap Introduction


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Roadmap and roadmap creation process is a modern and flexible technique for planning, future research, and strategic analysis. Continuous changes in business environments, rapid emergence, replacement of new technologies, sever fluctuations in markets and constant change of the customer needs turn the planning to a vital and inevitable activity for all nations, industries and organizations.

Technology roadmap is a systematic tool for exploring and establishing the relationship between markets, products, and developing technologies over time. Using this tool helps to gain better market position in today’s dynamic and ever changing environment by focusing on environment dynamics and technology trends and developing the competitive advantages over other industries and organizations.


The Technology roadmap

The process of technology roadmap creation is a type of requirement-driven technology planning process to help identify, select, and develop technology alternatives to satisfy a set of needs. The outcome of this planning process is called a “Technology Roadmap”.

The technology roadmap can be illustrated as a multi-layer and time-based chart that demonstrates various subjects in the form of layers of the model and the relationship between them. These layers in general contain the technical and business aspects of the model.

The history of technology roadmap dates back to 1980s, when the Motorola Inc. started to develop the technology roadmap in order to achieve the following objectives:

  1. Creating balance between short and long term efforts
  2. Creating balance between strategic and operational dimensions
  3. Coordinating technology with other resources of the organization

Robert W. Galvin, the former chief executive and chairman of Motorola Inc., defines technology roadmap as “an extended look at the future of a chosen field of inquiry composed from the collective knowledge and imagination of the brightest drivers of change in that field”. Regarding the objectives and advantages of the technology roadmap creation, he also said that “roadmaps communicate visions, attract resources from business and government, stimulate investigations, and monitor progress”.

In general, mapping the trajectory for a technology provides an insight or a generally accepted perspective to the vision of the technology in the future for the decision makers. The technology roadmap creation is a method to identify, evaluate and select the strategic alternatives to be used in order to achieve the optimum technology or commercial purpose.

The applications of using a technology roadmap can be summarized as follows:

  • Predicting the future technologies of the market and the production needs
  • Identifying the critical technology of the future
  • Supporting the strategic investment decisions in terms of technological information
  • Reducing the risk of investments
  • Fostering the collaboration and cooperation between the companies and increasing the knowledge synergies between them
  • Building bridges for transforming technology to market applications

An important advantage of the roadmap creation  among the other methods of planning is its focus on the customer requirements and planning based on the market demands. This method encourages the managers to think systematically about the future. In other words, the technology roadmap can help managers to make their thoughts about the future of their organizations more regularly, logically and in structured way, and helps them consider the common sense regarding the future of each technology and industry.


Technology Roadmap creation Models

Creating the technology roadmap models can be classified according to some different point of views. As an objective/application point of view, this eight-category classification may be used:

  1. Product planning
  2. Capabilities/services planning
  3. Strategic planning
  4. Long-term planning
  5. Knowledge capital planning
  6. Program planning
  7. Process planning
  8. Integrated planning

Also as a formal point of view, the technology roadmap creation models can be classified as:

  1. Multi-layer models
  2. Bar models
  3. Tabular models
  4. Chart models
  5. Graphical models
  6. Flowchart models
  7. Single-layer models
  8. Textual models