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
Fossil Power Generation,
Huttenstraße 12, 10553 Berlin
Hans Georg Gemünden
Lehrstuhl für Innovations- und Technologiemanagement,
Technische Universität Berlin,
Straße des 17. Juni 135, 10623 Berlin
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;
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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
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?
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
Are the financial targets of the activity reached, e.g., did the activity lead to
the forecasted reduction in machining times?
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
Decision on measures regarding technology transfer, best practice sharing
within the organisation or supply chain
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.
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
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.
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
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
214 J-M. Lischka and H.G. Gemünden
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