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Summarize the principles of strategic roadmapping as a management tool and discuss how a manufacturing business may implement roadmapping to help align its technology and marketing strategies.

Strategic roadmapping is not technology roadmapping (TRM). It is the broader view as emphasized during the lecture. Roadmapping is not a framework for the innovation process only.

  • Roadmapping is strategy planning tool which can be used across different organizational levels.
  • Roadmapping framework provides strategic alignment, communication and asks three key questions: 
    • Where do we want to go?
    • Where are we?
    • How do we get there? 
  • Roadmapping integrates technology push and pull perspectives. It is a workshop activity where all stakeholders get together and use post-it notes, wall charts and a lot of paper.
  • It is important that the relevant decision makers responsible for functions are present. 
  • Roadmapping can integrate different other types of analyses, such as SWOT, STEEPL, scenario analysis or technology intelligence. 
  • An important activity to foster communication between different functions.
  • Difficulties when using roadmapping, such as 

    • keeping roadmaps alive and updating it continuously.

Question asks about the alignment of two functional strategies, i.e.

  • manufacturing and marketing

Discuss that those need to be aligned with the corporate strategy, which needs to be considered in the implementation process. 


For a large manufacturing firm, describe how technology roadmapping and technology intelligence techniques could be used to help the firm respond to the emergence of a new production technology.

Technology roadmapping:

Three stages on the horizontal axis:

  • Where the company is
  • Where the company wants to be
  • And how it is going to get there

Along the vertical axis:

  • Why? (commercial perspective) 
    • Market and Business
    • The drivers, the strategy, and the needs
  • What? (design and production perspective)
    • Product, Service and System
    • The form, the function and performance
  • How? (technology and research perspective)
    • Technology, Science and Resources
    • The solutions, capabilities and resources


Technology Intelligence

Is the capture and delivery about information to help the organisation develop an awareness of threats and opportunities.

Usually done by setting up an intelligence team to capture information, develop insight and deliver that to decision makers.


Decision makers have to make:

  • strategic, tactical and operational decisions.

To do this they need to know:

  • Who, what, where, when, why, how?

Must ultimately develop:

  • Assessment of opportunities, threats, art and trends

By building an understanding of:

  • Market, competitive and technological intelligence

Technology Intelligence is found from sources that are:

  • white/black, secondary/primary, internal/external/ explicit/tacit


TI system needs people, processes and infrastructures.

TI systems work through 4 modes: 

  • Mine (aware and known)
  • Trawl (unaware and known)
  • Target (aware and unknown)
  • Scan (unaware and unknown)


Must understand the link between the two (roadmap vs TI):

  • what info do we need to collect:
    • where are we now vs what do we know
  • where do we want to be vs what do we not know
  • what info do we need to deliver
    • how do we get there vs what do we need to know


  • market vs market intelligence
  • product vs competitive intelligence
  • technology vs technology intelligence


Understand the company. Big therefore potentially:

  • path dependency
  • need to generate returns from existing resources
  • more resources
  • etc.








Describe three activities that companies might be expected to undertake within each of the five technology management processes below:

(i)  identification;

(ii)  selection;

(iii)  acquisition;

(iv)  exploitation;

(v)  protection.


  • Internal R&D;
  • External networks (KTNs);
  • Patent analysis,
  • Academic conferences;
  • Trade shows;
  • Publications (journals, magazines, other media);
  • Customers / end users;
  • Competitors;
  • Links to universities (funded labs, research, student projects, education, informal links;
  • Trade associations and professional bodies;
  • Consultants, Scouting, ..

(ii) Selection:

  • Link to strategy,
  • Business alignment, Benchmarking,
  • Feature value analysis,
  • Competence analysis,
  • TRM / VRM / trajectories,
  • Business model,
  • Path dependency,
  • Portfolio models,
  • Valuation techniques (DCF, decision trees, options), ..

(iii) Acquisition:

  • Internal R&D labs,
  • Transfer from other business units,
  • Purchase,
  • Licence,
  • Partnerships,
  • JV, Joint / sponsored research with universities,
  • Acquire company,
  • Steal / copy, Reverse engineer / tear-down,
  • Recruit, Open / distributed innovation activities,
  • Open source / public domain material.

(iv) Exploitation:

  • New product / service / process,
  • Enhanced product service,
  • Fusion with existing (internal / external),
  • Sell Licence (Exclusive vs. non-exclusive),
  • Open source / give away (UNIX) / donate,
  • Partnering,..

(v) Protection:

  • Registered IP (patents, reg. design),
  • Unregistered IP (copyright),
  • Secrecy,
  • Branding,
  • Retain key staff,
  • NDAs,
  • Contracts,
  • Trickery (false patent trails),
  • Speed of change,
  • Get competing ideas banned,
  • Set standard / Dominant design,
  • Complexity..


Discuss how a medium-sized manufacturing firm in the automotive sector could apply technology management tools and techniques in order to respond to the emergence of a much hyped but highly uncertain technology such as Additive Manufacturing.

The key issues here are that  

  • medium sized firm, therefore might assume limited capacity to devote time to exploring new technology opportunities.
  • Answer should reference the five technology management processes from part (a) but focus on the ways in which these might be used in the context of process technology.
  • Requires them to think about how a technology at its early stage of adoption that is surrounded by lots of information‘noise’ 
    • (e.g. hard to understand the real costs/benefits,
    • lots of competing technologies and suppliers, etc)
  • High levels of technological and market uncertainty might impact on a resource constrained manufacturing firm
    • (e.g. Is this going to be a key source of competitive advantage in the future?
    • Can they risk not investing in it?
    • Where might investment come from?
    • What sort of timescales?
    • How might the technology be deployed?).
  • The basic answer should demonstrate an understanding of the typical technology management challenges facing a medium sized manufacturing firm, and how technology management tools (such TRM, scenario planning, technology intelligence, MvB analysis etc) might be used to help them deal with these challenges.

Stronger answers might reflect upon the practical challenges of implementing technology management tools and techniques (often designed and developed by large companies) in a relatively small firm. Better answers should also connect the discussion to issues such as the nature of the company’s strategy and ambition, and the sector within which it is operating.

Students could also explore possible different scenarios for the adoption of this technology,ranging from accessing it via a service provider, to transforming the company’s core businessmodel. This could also be considered in the context of different timeframes, and in terms of a phased approach to adoption.


Explain, giving examples, why collaborations are a common feature of technology-intensive industries.

The basic answer should cover:

Key issues:

  • technology-intensive industries are characterised by high levels of technological and market uncertainty, which results in high levels of perceived risk.
  • One way of managing this is through sharing the risk with others, and also accessing a wider network of resources and capabilities to help reduce the uncertainty.
  • To do this requires the development of certain collaborative capabilities that build upon the core of MvB / outsourcing.
  • This should be expanded upon through illustration of forms of collaboration in different companies, technologies and sectors.

A better answer might include consideration of:

  • The impact of the emergence of ‘open innovation’ and the way in which many firms have developed collaborative capabilities for innovation;
  • The way in which different underpinning technologies may lend themselves to a more collaborative approaches within specific sectors (e.g. the ‘open architecture’model of the PC enabled a wide range of collaborative / outsourcing opportunities), as well as the impact that the Internet and WWW has had on a broad range of sectors to enable more collaboration (for SCM, collaborative design, etc)
  • The extra dimensions that need to be added to make versus buy decisions when considering early stage technologies.