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Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case study at Siemens AG

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The availability of specific technologies at the right time is a major factor for a companies success. To ensure this, the industry has the need for a holistic methodical support of technology management. This focuses on early activities like technology foresight and strategy development as well as controlling of individual projects until their full impact in the company's profitability. Technology roadmapping offers a process to support a holistic technology management. The approach of technology roadmapping is extended with the objective to mitigate existing risks and barriers and was tested successfully in a decentralised implementation in a manufacturing business unit for Gas Turbine Parts.
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Int. J. Technology Intelligence and Planning, Vol. 4, No. 2, 2008 201
Copyright © 2008 Inderscience Enterprises Ltd.
Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case
study at Siemens AG
Jan-Marc Lischka*
Siemens AG,
Energy Sector,
Fossil Power Generation,
Huttenstraße 12, 10553 Berlin
E-mail: jan-marc.lischka@siemens.com
*Corresponding author
Hans Georg Gemünden
Lehrstuhl für Innovations- und Technologiemanagement,
Technische Universität Berlin,
Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin
E-mail: Hans.Gemuenden@tim.tu-berlin.de
Abstract: The availability of specific technologies at the right time is a
major factor for a companies success. To ensure this, the industry has the need
for a holistic methodical support of technology management. This focuses on
early activities like technology foresight and strategy development as well as
controlling of individual projects until their full impact in the company’s
profitability. Technology roadmapping offers a process to support a holistic
technology management. The approach of technology roadmapping is extended
with the objective to mitigate existing risks and barriers and was tested
successfully in a decentralised implementation in a manufacturing business unit
for Gas Turbine Parts.
Keywords: technology roadmapping; innovation; controlling; manufacturing;
risk mitigation.
Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Lischka, J-M. and
Gemünden, H.G. (2008) ‘Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case
study at Siemens AG’, Int. J. Technology Intelligence and Planning, Vol. 4,
No. 2, pp.201–214.
Biographical notes: Jan-Marc Lischka is manager of a Manufacturing
Engineering Department at Siemens AG and roadmapping coordinator of the
Berlin Gas Turbine Plant. His research interests include the application
of technology roadmapping in manufacturing industries, controlling aspects of
technology roadmapping and risk management.
Hans Georg Gemünden has the Chair for Technology and Innovation
Management of the Berlin University of Technology. He received his
master and doctoral degree at the University of Saarbrücken, his habilitation
degree at the University of Kiel. He has published several books and numerous
articles in the fields of innovation and technology management, project
management, entrepreneurship, marketing, business policy and strategy, human
202 J-M. Lischka and H.G. Gemünden
information behaviour, and accounting. He is a member of the supervisory
board of ThyssenKrupp Technologies AG, and responsible for the diploma
programmes in Management and Engineering at the Berlin University of
Technology.
1 Introduction
The constant globalisation of value generation networks increases competition in all
industries. To enhance their operative efficiency, companies use various levers. Activities
targeting the streamlining of operational and organisational structure or the reduction of
time-to-market co-exist with the continuous reduction of direct product costs.
Product costs are determined by costs for fixed capital, and manufacturing efforts in
terms of time, material and personnel costs. Since only efforts and personnel costs can be
directly influenced, the companies aim to use effects from both factors. Nowadays, the
main approach to reduce personnel costs is the relocation of manufacturing activities in
low-cost countries. This approach quite often competes with the strategic focus on the use
of technological innovations to reduce manufacturing costs. But there is still the risk
that savings from manufacturing relocation are one-off effects, which will not necessarily
cause sustainable competitive advantages.
These general conditions lead companies to the imperative to draft a mid- and
long-term strategy to protect the competitive capability of their manufacturing sites in
global competition by the use of their technological capabilities. Within this, gathering
and structuring of distributed knowledge regarding applied and future technologies
becomes a crucial factor for the quality of the formulated technology strategy. During
organisational restructuring, there are additional requirements for information that a
technology management process has to fulfil. The most important is to show that
there are enough potential levers for further and sustainable profitability improvement.
Other topics can be interlinked with decision-making regarding alternative technology
path as an input for process, logistics and material flow design processes.
The application of technology roadmapping as a holistic method of technology
management has the potential to fulfil the requirements on a key method for
customer and market-oriented alignment of manufacturing organisation. Besides strategy
formulation and articulation, an application of technology roadmapping to the operative
level can also have an impact on communication and perception of innovation at the level
of the individual employees.
The aim of this paper is to discuss the applicability of Technology Roadmapping in
an operative manufacturing unit for gas turbine blades. Specific barriers and success
factors that occurred during the application in this high technology and capital-intensive
area of manufacturing are identified. Owing to the introduction during restructuring
of the manufacturing unit, it can be deduced which impact technology roadmapping can
have to increase the planning quality and risk reduction during material flow redesign.
The linkage to existing corporate processes like project management and controlling
are described. Key findings from the successful implementation are described and a
practical approach for risk mitigation during technology roadmapping in manufacturing is
proposed.
Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case study at Siemens AG 203
The paper starts with a short overview of relevant technology roadmapping literature,
including a classification of the application type. The business unit, its initial situation
and requirements during the reorganisation are described. This is followed by the detailed
presentation of the applied process, the main issues of the different phases and the results
achieved by the implementation of technology roadmapping. Finally, conclusions that
summarise the findings and state implications for further research are discussed.
2 Technology roadmapping
Technology roadmapping can be classified as a creative analytical process to predict,
analyse and visualise the possible future path of products, services and technologies
(Specht and Behrens, 2005). Originally, technology roadmapping was a method of
technology intelligence (Gerybadze, 1996), comprising the roadmap as a visualisation
medium and roadmapping as a process for creation and application (Bucher, 2005).
The roadmap generically describes a two-dimensional area, with a horizontal object-axis
and a vertical time-axis.
The integration of related methods in technology roadmapping is a common approach
in literature. The main methods reported are scenarios (Lizaso and Reger, 2001) and
portfolio methods (Farrokhzad et al., 2005). Another aspect of the close dependency
between these methods are that similar strengths can be found during application, such as
the improvement of communication dealing with technological and strategic issues and
the improvement of corporate decision-making processes owing to a coordinating
function (Mietzner and Reger, 2005).
Today, technology roadmaps are reported to be used within a broad field of
applications, ranging from markets, industrial sectors, specific technologies, product
groups (for example see Kim, 2006; Kostoff and Schaller, 2001), and individual
companies or business units, etc.
Three generations of technology roadmaps can be classified: The first generation
technology roadmaps were mainly a method of technology forecasting, operated by
researchers or scientists and with little linkage into company’s operational business.
Within the second generation, they were used as a tool for corporate strategic technology
planning with a strong focus on the integration of market, product and technology
aspects. Finally, there is the third generation of technology roadmaps, applied
through all primary management functions from intelligence to implementation control
(Bucher, 2005). According to the characterisation of innovation models as proposed by
Berkhout et al. (2006), actual applications of technology roadmapping fulfil several
aspects of fourth-generation innovation models, such as being embedded in partnerships
(e.g., along value generation chains) and the focus on early interaction between science
and business.
Phaal et al. (2004) identified six broad types of technology roadmapping during
the application of their T-Plan approach in various contexts, shown in Table 1.
The application introduced can be clustered as type 3, business reconfiguration.
204 J-M. Lischka and H.G. Gemünden
Table 1 General types of technology roadmapping application
Type of application
1 Product-technology planning
2 Strategic appraisal
3 Business reconfiguration
4 Process development
5 Research network development
6 Sector foresight
Source: Phaal et al. (2004)
During technology development, new emerging technologies arise. Their performance
begins to increase after spending more time or engineering effort. In parallel, the
performance in terms of incremental improvement per unit effort decreased for the
current technology, see Figure 1. Thus, companies have to find the right sequence of
technologies. They also have to find the right point in time to start investing in a new
technology to keep up the pace of technological improvement. Technology roadmapping
can play a significant role in scheduling technological developments, thus improving the
probability of making profitable decisions (Petrick and Echols, 2004).
Figure 1 Technology S-curves help define performance over time and enable comparison
of competing technology performance
Source: Petrick and Echols (2004)
3 Research area and research method
This case study focuses on the implementation of technology roadmapping in a
manufacturing unit. This unit is part of the Siemens’ Berlin Gas Turbine Plant where
heavy-duty gas turbines for stationary power generation with a power output of up to
340 MW are built and is responsible for the production of gas turbine blades. In a gas
turbine power plant, after power output, the main technical requirements are lifecycle
cost, efficiency and environmental compatibility. As in all combustion engines, higher
combustion temperatures result in higher efficiency and lower emissions from the gas
turbine. Operating at temperatures beyond the melting point of the base material and at
Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case study at Siemens AG 20
5
high mechanical load due to centrifugal forces, the turbine blades’ heat resistance
is the determining factor in increasing the efficiency of the gas turbine. This leads
to the use of so-called super alloys, high-temperature nickel- and cobalt-based alloys,
which are difficult to manufacture due to high mechanical strength and hardness.
Technological improvement regarding the overall product often goes hand-in-hand with
innovations in turbine blade materials and manufacturing processes. The manufacturing
technologies applied in gas turbine manufacturing can be compared with those applied in
aero-engine manufacturing. They reached a high technological level and a high degree of
specialisation, thus they are not commonly available. Most of the technologies make
high capital investments in machine tools and equipment necessary. Similar to aircraft
manufacturing, all process modifications have to be certified, which together with the
complexity of technology development results in a high time effort for implementation.
On the other hand, because of the dedicated materials and quality requirements, there is a
high technological risk in all process modifications.
The turbine blade manufacturing unit is one of five manufacturing units within
the Berlin gas turbine plant. Each manufacturing unit is organised as a strategically
independent business segment with a clearly defined field of activity. This means that
every manufacturing unit is responsible for its own future-proof and market-driven
orientation. The manufacturing units are embedded as cost-centres in the overall
organisation and each has the size of a medium-sized company with about 250
white- and blue-collar employees. As is quite common in manufacturing, the units have
the strategy of using technology improvements as well as standardisation for securing
their competitiveness. Each manufacturing unit has competencies for manufacturing,
engineering and technology development. All R&D projects regarding manufacturing
processes executed by central functions such as corporate technology departments are
controlled by the manufacturing units. The objective of the decision to implement
technology roadmapping on the level of the manufacturing unit was to establish a direct
linkage between the existing technological competencies and the responsibility for
implementation.
The main data regarding the process, its implementation and the results achieved
were collected by a set of qualitative interviews with the management team responsible.
Some of those interviewed were responsible for the implementation of technology
roadmapping, while others were part of the present management team. All were directly
involved in technology roadmapping. The functions of manufacturing technology
development, industrial engineering, business administration and controlling were
covered during the interviews. Regarding hierarchical level, the interview partners were
section managers or department heads.
4 Application at Siemens AG
4.1 Initial situation
In the literature, beneficial factors for a successful implementation of technology
roadmapping are reported:
clear business need (Phaal et al., 2001a)
commitment from senior management (Phaal et al., 2001b)
206 J-M. Lischka and H.G. Gemünden
the personnel involved (Phaal et al., 2001a)
presence of an internal or external threat (Laube, 2006)
less dynamic corporate division (Laube, 2006)
importance of business unit in the corporate structure (Laube, 2006)
integration in a considerable investment (Bucher et al., 2002).
Many of these beneficial factors could be noticed in the situation of the manufacturing
unit before the implementation of technology roadmapping. There was an internal
or external threat (Laube, 2006) when technology roadmapping was implemented.
In 2004, the manufacturing unit faced a difficult economic situation. The competition
with external suppliers increased because of the increased activity of suppliers from
aero-engine markets in the field of turbine blades for stationary gas turbines following the
events of September 2001. Additionally, effects from foreign exchange rates had a
negative impact on the manufacturing costs when compared with the US competitors.
The result was a bad competitive situation, in which only about 10% of the product
portfolio could be produced competitively.
The implementation took place in an important corporate division. Turbine blade
manufacturing can be considered important not only because of the technical relevance
for the overall product’s performance as described above, also from the financial
perspective, the manufacturing unit is of high relevance, because turbine blade
manufacturing is responsible for a high proportion of the overall manufacturing costs of a
gas turbine.
The manufacturing unit can also be described as a less dynamic corporate division
(Laube, 2006), resulting from the markets attended. In terms of manufacturing, that
mainly means a constant capacity utilisation and only a small fluctuation in product
portfolio. The turbine blades produced are delivered in nearly equal shares to new
apparatus manufacturing and to constantly growing service markets. That resulted in a
constant order volume and a quite positive and stable forecast before and during the
implementation phase.
The beneficial factor of integration in a considerable investment (Bucher et al., 2002)
to assure support of top management can also be stated as relevant, since the
implementation of technology roadmapping was part of a reorganisation of the
manufacturing unit’s material flows and the establishment of lean manufacturing
principles.
4.2 Presence of knowledge
At the beginning of the project, for most of the key manufacturing processes, ideas
regarding future trends in turbine blade manufacturing existed. These ideas were spread
among various experts and people involved in operations in direct manufacturing support
departments (e.g., production and process engineering, manufacturing technology, etc.)
as well as engineering or R&D departments close to the manufacturing unit. Another
reservoir of ideas had been the internal suggestion system, where various suggestions
were posted. These ideas can be described as anecdotal evidence with incomplete
information at an individual level (Petrick and Provance, 2005).
Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case study at Siemens AG 20
7
Additionally, several results of R&D projects were available. These projects were
implemented to very different degrees, from a check of general feasibility up to first
prototypal implementations. Some very auspicious projects had not been followed up,
owing to technological difficulties that arose, or concern of personnel involved.
In general, these projects had neither been rolled out nor consciously abandoned, because
of their low priority in comparison with day-to-day business, a lack of financial or
personnel resources or proper decision-making.
4.3 Applied process and major outcomes
The implementation of the technology roadmapping process was initiated by
the development of a first roadmap followed by the definition of a rolling process
for roadmap update and monitoring. The generic three-phase approach as described
by Garcia and Bray (1997) (preliminary activity, development of technology roadmap
and follow-up activity) was extended to address practical needs and identified risks.
The objective of the first process modification was to systematise the collection of
information regarding future trends in manufacturing technologies. There are two main
requirements on this process: The first requirement is to establish an appropriate
framework for the employees involved, which encourages long-term, visionary and
creative thinking. Especially in manufacturing, where people are highly engaged in
day-to-day issues, proper surroundings are important to ensure roadmapping success.
The second requirement is to gain a high completeness of the collected data input
during the first phase of technology roadmapping and to integrate outside-in as well as
inside-out views.
The second process modification had the objective of improving the quality of
collected technological and financial data. As reported in literature, one of the most
frequently mentioned barriers related to the successful implementation of technology
roadmapping is the lack of proper data (Phaal et al., 2001b). The data collected during
technology foresight activities can comprise several risks: Is the proposed new
process or technology feasible for the specific application? Is the assumption for the
potential benefit realistic? Which technological obstacles are most likely to occur during
the implementation phase? In the following section, the applied process steps are
described.
Step 0: Preliminary activity
The focus of the preparation phase was to set up the right conditions for a successful
implementation of technology roadmapping. This comprises the choice of partner for
implementation, the selection of sources and data to be used during technology foresight
activities and the definition of the scope of analyses.
In this case study, the implementation was supported by a team of specialists from an
external engineering research center specialised in manufacturing technologies being part
of the German Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft. These specialists acted as facilitators to ensure a
systematic roadmapping approach as well as process experts to ensure an outside-in view
during technological analyses.
To reduce the complexity of analyses, two representative components out of the
whole product portfolio of the manufacturing unit were chosen. Each of the exemplary
components represented one major group in the manufacturing unit’s product portfolio.
208 J-M. Lischka and H.G. Gemünden
In terms of the technology level, the part complexity as well as manufacturing costs, the
representative components were in the upper range of the product portfolio.
Step 1(a): Development of technology roadmap (Technology foresight)
The technology foresight was structured according to the four elements of technology
foresight as reported by Reger (2001): technology analysis, in which the company’s
position in its key technologies is analysed; technology monitoring, in which existing or
state-of-the-art technological knowledge is observed; technology prognosis, where future
trends in research are evaluated; and technology scanning, in which new technologies
outside the company are identified.
During Technology Analysis, the manufacturing processes for the representative
parts were analysed. The first step of the analysis was the identification of the
key manufacturing technologies. Based on the existing routings (working schedules),
each technology’s proportion of the overall manufacturing costs was identified, see
Figure 2. With the support of internal and external specialists, the as-is states of all
manufacturing processes were documented. Thereby, technological data such as
machining parameters, Material Removal Rates (MRR), machining costs, hourly rates on
workstations, scrap rates, etc. were gathered.
Figure 2 Identification of key manufacturing process to set priorities for technology foresight
and development activities
The scope of technology monitoring had been a technological benchmarking of the
as-is state processes with the actual state of the art. Data concerning the state of the art
was sourced from technological knowledge of the experts, from literature surveys as
well as direct benchmarks with similar or comparable production companies. The output
of the comparison with the state of the art had been a first set of improvement measures
to close existing gaps between the manufacturing unit and the market.
The focus of technology prognosis was to identify possible developments for
the applied manufacturing technologies. This was done by research of corresponding
scientific literature, symposia and the surveys of appropriate experts. The identified
levers were improvements in cutting materials, new machinery concepts, etc.
During technology scanning, a more general view of the manufacturing of the key
features of the representative parts was taken. Detached from the existing processes,
options for the substitution of manufacturing processes by other technologies or the
shifting of a complete operation along the value creation chain were generated.
Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case study at Siemens AG 20
9
Step 1(b): Development of technology roadmap (Validation)
In validation workshops with the process specialists, all measures were assessed against
several criteria, such as implementation effort, potential impacts on manufacturing costs
and quality, risks, and general feasibility. Based on this assessment of the individual
measures, a first aggregation of mid- and long-term potentials was prepared. To diminish
technical and economic risks, most of the short-term and mid-term measures were
evaluated by sample tests. Where possible, these experiments had been executed together
with the companies’ specialists at active workstations. Additional experiments were
executed under laboratory conditions at the facilities of external partners and universities.
By this, a high validity of the estimated savings was achieved.
Step 1(c): Development of technology roadmap (Strategy development)
For the development of a dependable technology strategy, several aspects had to be
considered. First, a prioritisation of the projects under financial aspects was deduced.
The basic data concerning implementation effort and potential cost benefit were
aggregated to display a prognosis of the future cost situation of the representative parts
under the assumption of implementation of the described measures. Based on this data, a
software tool was implemented to set up a rollout strategy, which comprised necessary
financial and personnel efforts, as well as the prioritisation of individual measures based
on best payout for applied resources.
A second aspect had been the identification and assessment of alternative or
competing technology development paths, see Figure 3. This becomes important,
especially if manufacturing of certain product features with different technologies is
feasible, or existing technologies gain flexibility or new manufacturing possibilities,
e.g., machining of complex geometries by 5-axis-milling. During this phase, the
connection with the material flow reorganisation was important, since logistical aspects
such as the harmonisation of processing times can also influence the choice of alternative
development paths. On the other hand, the plant layout has to fulfill the requirements
of future technological trends. If associated with investments in new machine tools,
the consideration of mid-term and long-term emerging technologies under criteria of
sustainable improvement and risk reduction are relevant.
Figure 3 Technology S-curve approach used for assessment of alternative manufacturing
technology development paths
Based on these aspects, the technology roadmap was developed. As an important step,
the measures were integrated into Siemens’ financial controlling instruments, such as
profitability programs as well as existing project management processes. Comprehensible
210 J-M. Lischka and H.G. Gemünden
indicators, e.g., product costs (in contrast to more abstract financial indicators such as
economic value added), were used for communication of the technology roadmap’s
efficiency to the personnel as shown in Figure 4.
Figure 4 Using comprehensible indicators such as product cost reduction to communicate
efficiency of the technology roadmapping initiative
Step 2(a): Follow-up activity (Monitoring)
The implementation of the measures described in the technology roadmap is the
crucial factor in reaching the targeted improvements in product costs. Thus, monitoring
within technology roadmapping has the main function of ensuring the proper
implementation of all measures and of maintaining transparency of the status of all
activities. The monitoring of the technology roadmap includes three elements: Project
management, implementation management and technological aspects, and has to be
closely linked to existing project management and financial controlling processes in the
organisation. The key issues of the monitoring process are shown in Table 3.
Table 3 Key elements of technology roadmap monitoring
Element Aspects
Is the project within the agreed time schedule?
Is the allocated budget kept?
Is decision-making carried out properly, esp. in situations in which technical
obstacles occur and abandonment of the project or one technological
scenario as a whole becomes necessary?
Project
management
Adjustment of resource allocation, if necessary because of information
e.g., additional risks.
Is the measure cost-effective in all operative controlling systems after
successful completion of the activity, e.g., in product costs or budget
adjustment?
Are the financial targets of the activity reached, e.g., did the activity lead to
the forecasted reduction in machining times?
Implementation
management
Reporting of the implementation status, e.g., the achieved benefits
Analysis of technical reasons for deviation from forecasted benefits
Assessment of upcoming technical issues, e.g., risks, obstacles
Decision-making regarding the following of alternative manufacturing
development paths
Decision on measures regarding technology transfer, best practice sharing
within the organisation or supply chain
Technological
aspects
Ensuring proper handling of patent and intellectual property activities
Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case study at Siemens AG 211
In the present case study, the monitoring of technology roadmap implementation is
organised as a periodical process with the interdisciplinary participation of the
departments involved in technology roadmapping. For decision-making and directing of
roadmapping activities, a technology roadmapping steering committee was installed.
This steering committee consists of the head of manufacturing, the head of controlling
and the head of manufacturing engineering. In a monthly meeting, the progress of
individual measures is presented to the steering committee by the project manager and
the technology specialist responsible, giving the project’s status regarding the three
elements shown in Table 3. After common project management indicators such as budget
and timeline compliance, a target-performance comparison of the prognosticated savings
is presented. In case new or consolidated findings appear, business cases are updated
and, if necessary, a rescheduling or reprioritisation is carried out. By this process, the
technology roadmap is a continuously updated, living document.
Step 2(b): Follow-up activity (Update)
The update process has two main objectives. The first is to keep the technology
roadmap documents up-to-date. The second is to keep the roadmap alive, i.e., to ensure a
periodical update of the roadmap. The responsibility for both activities is clearly defined.
Since technology roadmapping provides significant input to the business planning
process, workshops for updating the technology roadmap are conducted once a year.
5 Results
The technology roadmap generated during the implementation proved itself to be a good
instrument for visualisation. It enables a transparent view of the manufacturing unit’s
innovation strategy and all actions needed to implement it. This transparency identifies
interdependencies between different projects, and makes it possible to exploit synergies
between these and to set up scenarios, which may be complementary to each other.
Owing to the validated financial data, technology roadmapping is particularly suitable
for preparing business cases and showing the potentials of the individual projects
in the technology roadmap to the management. This leads to an improvement in
decision-making quality regarding prioritisation, resource allocation and investment
planning.
Based on the technology roadmap, an integrated technology strategy could be
formulated. The projects and measures derived from this strategy were implemented and
the result was a significant improvement in the production cost situation. In terms of
competitiveness, the manufacturing unit had a cost advantage for only about 10% of its
product range, as reported in Section 2. After a continuous rollout of the technology
roadmap, the proportion of cost advantage increased to nearly 90%. This lead to a
significantly increased position of the manufacturing unit in make-or-buy decisions,
which resulted in several insourcing activities.
The implementation of technology roadmapping had a strong impact on technology
management in manufacturing. The former day-to-day driven technology management
approach significantly changed to a strategic approach, which included an increased
scope of planning outlook. The development and application of new manufacturing
technologies is now initiated by strategic imperatives based on the technology roadmap
and no longer as a reaction to changed conditions or requirements.
212 J-M. Lischka and H.G. Gemünden
Based on the technology roadmap, the choice and prioritisation of technology projects
became more systematic. In this context, the financial valuation of the benefit has more
influence on the decision-making process. That made it easier for the actors in operative
technology implementation to set priorities and to align their activities according to the
potential benefit of the activity.
Within the organisation, the implementation of technology roadmapping led
to a change in the individual contributors’ awareness of technological innovation.
The understanding that technological innovations are the key factors for sustainable
success of manufacturing in a high cost country was strengthened. This change in
perception of innovation led to a strong increase in the willingness to innovate and a
reduction of personal resistance to the implementation of process innovations and could
be observed in white-collar as well as blue-collar workers.
6 Conclusions
Based on the findings from the implementation of technology roadmapping in an
operative manufacturing unit, several conclusions with relevance for the scientific
findings in economic literature can be derived, see Table 5.
Table 5 Barriers and success factors during implementation of technology roadmapping
Success factors Barriers
Decentralised control of technology
roadmapping
Integration of technical risks in financial prognoses
and business cases
Linkage to plant layout reorganisation Keeping the technology roadmapping process alive
Transparency of financial information
Use of comprehensible indicators
Data validation by sample tests
Effective integration of external knowledge
Many of the reported beneficial factors for successful implementation could be observed
as valid in this case study. The most relevant beneficial factors were the presence of a
clear business need caused by an external competitive threat, the implementation in
a less dynamic division and the commitment from senior management. Thus, the reported
beneficial factors were also relevant for technology roadmapping implementation
on an operational level. Also the barrier of keeping the technology roadmapping process
alive as reported by Phaal et al. (2001b) was found to be true and was mainly overcome
by the constant attention of senior management.
Putting the focus within technology roadmapping on transparency in terms
of financial information (implementation costs and potential benefits) was observed
as a factor in increasing the initiative’s acceptance. This effect was observed at
top-management as well as at individual employee level. The choice of the financial
indicators might have a great influence on how the financial transparency will be
perceived within organisation. Beneath common indicators of corporate controlling like
return on investment, economic value added or payback periods, we propose the
Technology roadmapping in manufacturing: a case study at Siemens AG 213
additional use of indicators that have operative relevance for the involved actors. In terms
of manufacturing, this could be product costs or machining hours.
By increasing the transparency of financial data as described above, the integration
of existing technological risks becomes important. Assuming that all the measures will
become cost-effective within the proposed timeline will lead to wrong strategic decisions.
Thus, the financial assessment of technical risks should be integrated into the technology
roadmapping process. To fulfill this demand, the methodology shall be extended and
further modified. The use of real options modelling could be one option to be applied
for assessment of roadmapping measures. By linking technology roadmaps with risk
evaluations, the aspect of keeping transparency and complexity manageable is important,
especially for roadmapping applications on an operative level.
The integration of data validation by performing first technological studies within the
technology roadmapping process proved to be an effective measure to avoid negative
influence because of a lack of proper data. Especially, when the expression of financial
benefits is an important outcome of technology roadmapping, risk mitigation by the
validation of data is a crucial factor for roadmapping success.
The integration of external knowledge, not only with the scope of methodical or
facilitating support but also with technology experts, was observed as beneficial.
By doing this, the integration of an outside-in perspective was achieved. The sources of
information as proposed by Reger (2001), the intensive cooperation with ‘Engineering
Research Centers’, ‘Centers of Excellence’ and university also proved beneficial in this
case study. In general, putting more effort into technology foresight and data assembly
led to an increase in quality and quantity of the base data of the technology roadmap.
We assume that the higher amount had a positive influence on the acceptance of
technology roadmapping within the organisation.
As proposed by Petrick and Provance (2005), the decentralised control of
roadmapping in operative business units can lead to accurate decision-making in the
technology roadmapping process. To install the operational execution of roadmapping at
the same level where knowledge regarding the technologies is present was a successful
approach in the present case study. For a rollout of the process to other manufacturing
units, centralising of roadmapping policies as proposed by Petrick and Provance (2005)
can be considered useful.
As a general conclusion, it can be stated that technology roadmapping can
play a significant role in a market-oriented and future-proof alignment of manufacturing
units. In the competition of manufacturing units for investments and against relocation
of businesses, technology roadmapping has the potential to become a strong process
within profitability management. Technology roadmapping can be a key driver for
reorganisation projects in technologically advanced manufacturing businesses.
Further research is necessary to identify best practices in operative technology
roadmapping implementation, especially according to implementation and controlling
of measures. Additionally, we propose to further examine indicators of technology
roadmapping and the financial valuation of risks linked to technological prognoses of
future scenarios.
214 J-M. Lischka and H.G. Gemünden
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... The innovation team set out on a new path that thoroughly explored customer needs at the start of the platform development process. While other B2B business units within Siemens had reengineered their TRM approaches to achieve cost reduction [45], the E.CAM program focused on customer value. This case reflects the challenges of a technology-intensive B2B business that had to understand and balance demands from a diverse set of stakeholders-both internal and external-while simultaneously weighing rapidly evolving technology choices. ...
... This new innovation strategy contributed to the E.CAM platform's sustained competitive advantage through the team's ability to exercise "creative forbearance" by patiently and persistently introducing new features dictated by the extensive customer need finding done at the front-end of the process [49]. This design-driven innovation process gave rise to an enduring value/cost advantage that could not be matched by competitors and Siemens regained market leadership [43], [45]. ...
... If a major value/cost shift does not materialize even after several concept iterations, an NPD team can pursue an incremental innovation strategy and favor concepts that are novel through the emotional lens. This customer value/business cost shift provides more concrete solutions to bring customer aspects (desirability) to the roadmapping process, unlike in Siemens's traditional approach to the development of technology roadmaps based primarily on estimated product cost reductions (viability) over a time horizon [45]. ...
Article
Designing an innovation strategy in a world of rapid technological change has become increasingly challenging. Some companies are finding that anchoring technology choices in deeper understanding of the value users seek allows them to find a better balance among feasibility, viability, and desirability of potential solutions, and thus create more successful user outcomes. They do so by involving designers earlier in the roadmap development to guide product and technology selection, toward a future vision based on user value and aspirations. In this article, we extend two streams of prior research on technology roadmapping (TRM) and design roadmapping (DRM). First, we identify and compare technology and DRM approaches and their distinct strategic emphases: Technology selection and user value, respectively. Second, we compare two cases of DRM deployment in corporations: Siemens and Air France-KLM. The intent is to provide an in-depth understanding of why and how DRM complements TRM and how DRM facilitates making tradeoffs among strategic goals to more comprehensively address the feasibility, viability, and desirability of new product and service designs. We find that DRM embeds a deep understanding of current and future user needs, linking user-centered design and technology selection to strategy in practice.
... A knowledge-based method proposed by Reger (2001) and the decision-making oriented roadmapping in decentralized control of the business operation proposed by Petrick and Provance, (2005) are considered to be highly valuable for the research. In addition, the most relevant to our research is the paper of Lischka and Gemunden, (2008). The authors applied a systematic approach that identified best practices in operative technology roadmap implementation. ...
... The authors applied a systematic approach that identified best practices in operative technology roadmap implementation. We have considered the methods analyzed by Lischka and Gemunden, (2008) and they will lay a good research groundwork for our studies. ...
... At the same time, the value of the performance decreases for the current technology. Furthermore, in regard to technology life cycle, there are four stages which include ferment, take-off, maturity, and discontinuity (Lischka, and Gemunden, 2008). Thus, the innovation S-Curve assists companies in deciding the right sequence of technologies, determining the level of maturity of the technologies, and most importantly, when to invest in the new technologies (Petrick and Echols, 2004). ...
Article
Full-text available
This workshop proceedings contain the final author versions submitted to the CIB World Building Congress 2019. All articles originally appeared in the official proceedings of the CIB World Building Congress 2019 which can be accessed through www.cibworld.nl CIB Working Commission W119 on Customized Industrial Construction has been established as the successor of former TG57 on Industrialization in Construction and as a joint CIB-IAARC Commission. Prof. Dr.-Ing. Thomas Bock, Technical University of Munich, Germany is the appointed Coordinator of this Working Commission. W119 embraces a variety of focused task groups that work on the intersection of architecture and construction-related topics with advanced technologies such as ICRT, sensory, automation, robotics and medical technologies. These technologies provide solutions to future social, economic and environmental challenges. Whereas the yearly workshops of W119 in previous years had a broader scope (e.g. focus on settlements, etc.) regarding the application of automation, robotics technology, and advanced prefabrication solutions in the context of built environment, the 2019 workshop focussed on Automation and Robotics in Construction. Robotic solutions along the construction value chain and the major phases of the actual construction process (component production, logistics, prefabrication, on-site construction, maintenance, etc.) are gaining on a worldwide level more momentum. W119, therefore, saw a need to reflect this with the topic of this year’s workshop. The contributions to this year’s workshop cover key aspects of future automated and robotic construction such as logistics (Smart lift control and monitoring for super high-rise building construction project), building exterior finishing (Developing a roadmap for implementing on-site construction automation and robotics in Hong Kong), the analysis of work procedures (A non-intrusive method for measuring construction workers’ muscle) as well as tools for strategic foresight and requirements engineering (System boundaries of implementing construction robots for buildings). As of late, the development of “hard” physical-mechanical robots and automation systems for the execution of construction tasks are gaining increasing interest. This manifests itself in an increase in academic research activity, joint industry-academia collaboration projects, the emergence of start-ups and a strong and growing interest of large, established organisations. W119 and the contributors to this workshop are dedicated to support further market uptake of such solutions with their research and development activities.
... A knowledge-based method proposed by Reger (2001) and the decision-making oriented roadmapping in decentralized control of the business operation proposed by Petrick and Provance, (2005) are considered to be highly valuable for the research. In addition, the most relevant to our research is the paper of Lischka and Gemunden, (2008). The authors applied a systematic approach that identified best practices in operative technology roadmap implementation. ...
... The authors applied a systematic approach that identified best practices in operative technology roadmap implementation. We have considered the methods analyzed by Lischka and Gemunden, (2008) and they will lay a good research groundwork for our studies. ...
... At the same time, the value of the performance decreases for the current technology. Furthermore, in regard to technology life cycle, there are four stages which include ferment, take-off, maturity, and discontinuity (Lischka, and Gemunden, 2008). Thus, the innovation S-Curve assists companies in deciding the right sequence of technologies, determining the level of maturity of the technologies, and most importantly, when to invest in the new technologies (Petrick and Echols, 2004). ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
For a long time, the conventional construction sector in Hong Kong has been perceived as old-fashioned and lagging behind compared to many other industrial sectors. Numerous challenges are facing the construction industry, such as diminishing productivity, unstable quality, increasing demand, as well as population aging and shortage in the local labor market. One possible solution is to identify and deploy the state-of-the-art technologies that could potentially be implemented in the Hong Kong construction industry. Many studies have been documented about the design and development of a specific construction robotic system. However, there is limited literature on how to investigate the implementation and integration of a range of proposed systems in a specific, local context, and to evaluate the process and impact from short-term, mid-term, and long-term perspectives. Based on the ongoing consultancy project commissioned by the Construction Industry Council (CIC) in Hong Kong, this paper demonstrates the method adopted in proposing a systematic approach as well as the development of a comprehensive roadmap for implementing on-site construction automation and robotic technologies in the context of Hong Kong. In general, the proposed roadmap, which is structured based on the reviews of the current situation in Hong Kong's construction industry, will evaluate short-term and mid-term practical strategies and action plans. Furthermore, it will forecast a long-term perspective, aspirations, and potential business strategy. The activity of road-mapping is extended with the objective to mitigate existing risks and barriers, and to plan ahead. Eventually, it will serve as a guideline for the construction industry in Hong Kong and beyond to execute similar types of projects in the future.
... These forecasts came true. BP, Philips, General Motors, Siemens and Lego are just a few exemplars of multinational corporations that have implemented roadmapping in their organizational settings (Barker and Smith, 1995;Groenveld, 1997;Grossman, 2004;Kerr et al., 2017;Lischka and Gemunden, 2008). Government agencies in various countries, such as Singapore (Holmes and Ferrill, 2005), South Korea (Lee et al., 2008) and Finland (Ahlqvist et al., 2012), have deployed roadmapping in order to gain new capabilities or to aid SMEs in searching for and selecting emerging technologies. ...
Article
Two decades ago the thirtieth-anniversary special issue of Technological Forecasting and Social Change correctly anticipated the widespread adoption of technology and strategic roadmapping at firm, sectoral and national levels. In this article, we explore the evolution of roadmapping studies since that time. Drawing on a mixed-methods approach (i.e. topic modelling, genealogical analysis, content analysis and interviews), we reveal the development of seven distinctive ‘schools of thought’: the Cambridge practical school, the Seoul school, the Portland and Bangkok schools, the Cambridge phenomenological school, the Beijing school and the Moscow school. We show that the schools differ in terms of (a) the research orientation, whether it be solution- or theory-oriented; (b) the research methods and data sources being used; and (c) the nature of contributions that each school seeks to achieve. The different areas of emphasis associated with each school are not competing but complementary, and together they develop the eclectic body of knowledge on roadmapping.
... Some papers highlight the effect of national foresight programs on innovation systems and strategy (Chan and Daim, 2012), priorities of key emerging technology developments (Chakravarti et al., 1998;Keenan, 2003;Yang et al., 2004;Park and Son, 2010) (2015) highlights the role of technology foresight to identify the technologies and processes, which might be relevant for sustainable production in the German automotive industry in the future. Lischka and Gemünden (2008) in the case of Siemens AG emphasize the necessity of solid systematic assistance of technology management that could focus on anticipated activities such as technology foresight and strategy development as well as observing mechanism of individual projects until their entire influence in the efficiency of the company. They propose technology roadmapping approach that aims to diminish actual risks and barriers and test it in a manufacturing business unit for Gas Turbine Parts. ...
Preprint
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This paper presents a systematic literature review of empirical studies on Technology intelligence with an objective to identify main characteristics and trends of the literature on the implementation of Technology intelligence. To achieve this, we reviewed 138 documents systematically (following a scientifically robust methodology) in terms of research methodology, research context and content. Citation network analysis was adopted to generate thematic clusters. The presented investigation provides (i) an overview of the methodologies used in literature and the types of empirical studies (case studies, surveys, evolution investigations, interviews, experiments, etc.) as well as the related diffusion; (ii) a summary of the research content (topics, thematic areas) in the practice of Technology intelligence; (iii) a picture of the various contexts and levels in which the practice of Technology intelligence has been studied (industries, sectors, technologies, countries). The paper also draws some conclusions in terms of managerial implications and areas for future research.
Chapter
In der Produktplanung werden die Rahmenbedingungen gesetzt, anhand derer sich die spätere Gestaltung des Produkts ausrichtet – je nach Geschäftsmodell des Unternehmens kann diese ganz unterschiedliche Form haben, vom technologiegetriebenen Innovationsführer im Markt über den spezialisierten Nischenanbieter bis hin zum kostenorientierten Massenproduzenten sind viele Ausprägungen denkbar. Allen gemein ist das Ziel der Produktplanung: Die für das Geschäftsmodell des Unternehmens richtigen Ideen finden, diese aus Sicht der Vermarktbarkeit und Machbarkeit bewerten und die Entwicklung und Detaillierung so aufsetzen, dass sich ein Produkt effizient entwickeln lässt. Das Geschäftsmodell schlägt sich dabei in Form der Strategie des Unternehmens und des angestrebten Produktportfolios nieder, das in der Produktplanung den Kontext aller Entscheidungen bildet.
Article
Uncertainty of political decisions and economic conditions causes difficulties in predicting the development of energy systems, whereas the method of road mapping allows us to overcome them. This met­hod is one of the most effective mechanisms for strategic planning of the development of various facilities, including the energy complex in modern conditions. The purpose of the study is to develop a road map for the development of the fuel and energy complex of the Irkutsk region. The research methods are system analysis, economic and mathematical modeling, and road mapping. Target indicators for the development of the energy complex in the region have been developed, a list of measures to improve it has been proposed. The development and implementation of the roadmap is of practical importance for taking managerial decisions in the energy sector of the Irkutsk region, since its development depends on a large number of external and internal factors.
Thesis
Full-text available
The fourth industrial revolution confronts industrial organizations with fundamental challenges to manufacturing innovation which companies attempt to face by employing strategic planning approaches. The high levels of risk and uncertainty intrinsically linked to such planning activities are driven by the necessity of reacting to the rapidly increasing innovation pressure exerted on manufacturing companies, in particular in technology-driven sectors such as automotive. Since the impact of innovation in manufacturing on the company’s global innovation performance is higher than ever before, there is a need for taking traditional production planning to the next level. In this context, this thesis attempts to provide a key contribution to the creation of a structured methodological approach to strategic production planning that is based on systematically leveraging the creativity and experience of a vast, diverse network of employees to establish an actionable, living integrated process for manufacturing-driven innovation roadmapping. Departing from a systematic analysis of requirements to such a process both from literature and practice, concepts from integrated design research and practice are used to propose a generic process model for strategic production planning supported by a technology roadmapping approach. This process model has been designed in such a way that it guides stakeholders from various organizational units through the creative planning process from the rough level of megatrends to the very concrete level of actionable projects positioned in the organization’s innovation roadmap. The basic process relies on subsequent phases of divergent, creative thinking and convergent, focused consolidation for decision-making. Through a structured guidance approach, the process helps stakeholders reach the project description level from the megatrend level in only three cycles of divergent and convergent thinking, thereby assuring the process’ efficiency and practical feasibility. Innovative key performance indicators are proposed for measuring process performance and enabling its continuous improvement. The proposed process model’s feasibility, effectiveness and efficiency were successfully validated at the German automotive tier-1 supplier ZF Friedrichshafen, fully taking into account the company’s specific context, requirements and constraints.
Chapter
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Im folgenden Beitrag über die szenariobasierte Geschäftsmodellentwicklung wird zunächst die Nachgründungsphase in den gesamten Gründungsprozess eingeordnet und mit ihren typischen Herausforderungen thematisiert. Dabei werden die Situation, Motivation und speziellen Herausforderungen des Gründerteams dargestellt. Vor diesem Hintergrund werden die speziellen Anforderungen an die Beratung in der Nachgründungsphase herausgearbeitet. Im zweiten Teil wird die Methode der szenariobasierten Geschäftsmodellentwicklung detailliert vorgestellt. Im darauffolgenden Zwischenfazit werden die wichtigsten Punkte zusammengefasst und ein Ausblick entworfen.
Article
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In the innovation literature, the development of innovation models is subdivided into generations. Until now, we distinguish three generations. Because current models provide a poor representation of what happens in today's open innovation networks, there is a growing need for a fourth-generation concept. So far, requirements for next-generation concepts have been discussed but well-defined models have not reached the open literature yet. This paper describes a fourth-generation innovation model, which describes the innovation regime by a 'circle of change'. It links changes in scientific insights, technological capabilities, product design and manufacturing, and markets. The model replaces the traditional chain concept by a circle with four 'nodes of change', connected by four interacting 'cycles of change'. Collectively, they may be seen as the arena of opportunity with processes crossing traditional boundaries. These processes have a cyclic nature and are representative of today's open innovation.
Chapter
Insbesondere in großen Unternehmen wird das Roadmapping zur Unterstützung der strategischen Planung eingesetzt. Vielfach bleiben allerdings Unklarheiten über den Weg der Erstellung und teilweise auch die konkreten Nutzungsmöglichkeiten der Roadmaps. An dieser Stelle setzt der vorliegende Beitrag an. Nach einer thematischen Einleitung und Einordnung des Roadmapping in den „Methoden-Werkzeugkasten“ der strategischen Planung wird ein empfehlenswertes Vorgehen beim Roadmapping dargestellt und erläutert (s. auch die Beiträge von Geschka, Schauffefe und Zimmer sowie von Möhrle in diesem Buch). Für die strategische Planung im Unternehmen sind insbesondere Produkt- und Technologie-Roadmaps relevant. Der Prozess eines integrierten Produkt- und Technologie-Roadmapping wird umrissen, Aussagen über konkrete Nutzungsmöglichkeiten der Ergebnisse des Roadmappingprozesses und die Anwendung von Roadmaps in der FuE-Projektplanung sowie im strategischen Personalmanagement schließen sich an. Den Abschluss bildet die Darstellung der wesentlichen Erfolgsfaktoren und Nutzenpotenziale.
Article
Technology foresight is an important activity in companies to meet the challenges of a fast changing environment. The understanding and the concepts of technology foresight have changed during the last decades. Three generations of technology foresight are developed in this paper. In the third generation, technology foresight is an integrated part of strategic management, process-oriented, need- and value-driven and network-dominated. Although this model represents practices in companies, not all elements are included in one firm. This paper is based on interviews in large multinational corporations and a review of the literature.
Article
Strategic technology choice involves the selection of one technology solution over another under conditions of uncertainty. The information needed to develop scenarios and assess their corporate-wide impact resides at multiple levels within the organisation, and includes both explicit and tacit knowledge. Roadmapping offers a framework to structure diverse information, simultaneously capturing explicit data and the tacit knowledge provided by the context in which the data exists. This enhances both operational and strategic technology decision-making. Corporate-wide support for and participation in roadmapping efforts determines its sustainability. Specifically, decentralised roadmapping control, combined with centralised policies supporting resource allocation decisions based on roadmapping information positively influences technology decision-making effectiveness. Reference to this paper should be made as follows: Petrick, I.J. and Provance, M. (2005) 'Roadmapping as a mitigator of uncertainty in strategic technology choice', Int. 2000, she spent more than 20 years in research, new product development and management in academia and industry. Her research interests include strategic (digital) roadmapping, collaborative development, supply chain information systems, and data fusion. Michael Provance is a doctoral student of strategy and organisation theory with the R.H. Smith School of Business at the University of Maryland. His primary research is focused on the construction, manipulation and dynamics of organisational environments. He examines the role of organisational search and adaptation in the structures, transformation, growth, competitive dynamics and death of organisations and industries. Prior to his doctoral programme, he served for more than 10 years as vice president and general manager of several emerging ventures in information technology and management consulting.
Article
Scenarios, as a prime technique of future studies, have long been used by government planners, corporate managers and military analysts as powerful tools to aid in decision making in the face of uncertainty. The idea behind them is to establish thinking about possible futures which can minimise surprises and broaden the span of managers’ thinking about different possibilities. Today the question of what scenarios are is unclear except with regard to one point - they have become extremely popular. This paper attempts to shed light on differences in scenario approaches. It will describe the origin of scenarios and the development of different understandings and purposes for managers. Categories are developed to compare the different ways scenarios are performed. Finally, the advantages and disadvantages of scenario approaches are analysed.
Chapter
Insbesondere in großen Unternehmen wird das Roadmapping zur Unterstützung der strategischen Planung eingesetzt. Vielfach bleiben allerdings Unklarheiten über den Weg der Erstellung und teilweise auch die konkreten Nutzungsmöglichkeiten der Roadmaps. An dieser Stelle setzt der vorliegende Beitrag an. Nach einer thematischen Einleitung und Einordnung des Roadmapping in den „Methoden-Werkzeugkasten“ der strategischen Planung wird ein empfehlenswertes Vorgehen beim Roadmapping dargestellt und erläutert (s. auch die Beiträge von Geschka, Schauffefe und Zimmer sowie von Möhrle in diesem Buch). Für die strategische Planung im Unternehmen sind insbesondere Produkt- und Technologie-Roadmaps relevant. Der Prozess eines integrierten Produkt- und Technologie-Roadmapping wird umrissen, Aussagen über konkrete Nutzungsmöglichkeiten der Ergebnisse des Roadmappingprozesses und die Anwendung von Roadmaps in der FuE-Projektplanung sowie im strategischen Personalmanagement schließen sich an. Den Abschluss bildet die Darstellung der wesentlichen Erfolgsfaktoren und Nutzenpotenziale.
Conference Paper
This study conducted experiments to test how technology division structures are expressed and analyzed on a technology roadmap by identifying the relationships between system integration and components during the development of the T-50<sup>1</sup> aircraft in the aerospace industry. The aerospace industry has the typical features of a complex structure, requiring the integration of several million components and requires a high technology concentration in each assembly phases. Further, the aerospace industry also has unique features that undergo a great value chain variation in accordance with the purchasing power between an aircraft system integrator (final manufacturer) and a few demand monopoly firms (military or airliners). Accordingly, a system integrator shall need an operational plan, which combines an appropriate development of demand firm's needs with existing technology resources, further requiring close cooperation among several component supplying firms. On the other side, an aerospace component has very complex and precise operational procedures that must meet strict safety regulations due to their effects of aircraft safety and reliability. Because of these reasons, system integrators and component suppliers have a strong value chain structure of technology dependence and operations. Thus, reciprocal information sharing and cooperative development strategies between firms form an indispensable operational foundation for aircraft development. That is, it is necessary to have an appropriate planning system to consider both commercialization and vast R&D costs when establishing common development strategies among technology organizations. A technology roadmap is designed around detailed strategic forecasts of technology in the developmental phase, and includes time planning between organizations that, in turn creates new technologies for future development strategies. After the initial development results, we noticed a great time discrepancy in the- - commercialization phase, due to information and technology asymmetries between system integrators and component suppliers
Article
Typically, firms decide whether or not to develop a new product based on their resources, capabilities and the return on investment that the product is estimated to generate. We propose that firms adopt a broader heuristic for making new product development choices. Our heuristic approach requires moving beyond traditional finance-based thinking, and suggests that firms concentrate on technological trajectories by combining technology roadmapping, information technology (IT) and supply chain management to make more sustainable new product development decisions. Using the proposed holistic heuristic methods, versus relying on traditional finance-based decision-making tools (e.g., emphasizing net present value or internal rate of return projections), enables firms to plan beyond the short-term and immediate set of technologies at hand. Our proposed heuristic approach enables firms to forecast technologies and markets, and hence, new product priorities in the longer term. Investments in new products should, as a result, generate returns over a longer period than traditionally expected, giving firms more sustainable investments. New products are costly and need to have a durable presence in the market. Transaction costs and resources will be saved, as firms make new product development decisions less frequently.