An Introduction to Strategic Roadmapping


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An Introduction to Strategic Roadmapping

  1. 1. August 2007 Three Best Practices That Can Sustain the Flow of Innovation in Your Organization Page
  2. 2. The information in this document is subject to change without notice. No part of this document may be reproduced, stored or transmitted in any form or by any means, electronic or mechanical, for any purpose without the express written permission of Sopheon. Copyright © Copyright 2008 Sopheon plc. All Rights Reserved. Accolade® and Vision Strategist are registered trademarks of Sopheon plc. All other trademarks are the sole property of their respective owners. Three Best Practices That Can Sustain the Flow of Innovation in Your Organization Page 2
  3. 3. An Introduction to Strategic Roadmapping Roadmapping has emerged as a best practice for aligning business functions with corporate strategy and projecting with precision into the future. But what does “roadmapping” involve? This paper explains the fundamentals behind roadmapping, including what it is, how companies are using roadmapping, and the results they are attaining. The word “roadmap” generally evokes images of a one-dimensional map with lines representing roads drawn upon it. The roads are shown intersecting, circum- navigating, running in parallel and sometimes dead-ending. All of the roads are bi-directional, each affecting the course of the others that touch it. The term “roadmapping” injects action into the map. Roads are actually being used to map a course of action, resulting in a roadmap that provides direction. Taking it one step further, “strategic roadmapping” involves manipulating the information con- tained in roadmaps to plan the best course of action for the future, mapping actions to align with strategic objectives. Strategic roadmapping enables decision-makers to gain a multidimensional view into the future and manipulate planning data to reveal the outcomes of their planning scenarios. Creating roadmaps allows companies to project far into the future with the confi- dence that their strategic decisions are fueled by high-quality, up-to-date information. Roadmapping is about more than just moving ahead in a common direction; it pro- vides decision-makers with the confidence that they are moving ahead in the right direction. Roadmaps provide the framework for strategy creation. Roadmapping effectively turns strategy into action; tying strategic goals to tactical measures. This enables an organization to tie day-to-day planning and projects to business priorities. If applied as an enterprise framework, roadmapping has the potential to provide a bridge be- tween all the tactical decision processes, different business functions, and organiza- tions through the common element of time.1 Three Best Practices That Can Sustain the Flow of Innovation in Your Organization Page 3
  4. 4. Roadmaps Provide Strategic Views of Enterprise Plans Roadmaps are instrumental in increasing visibility, accountability, and collaboration at almost every level of planning, enabling stakeholders to see where they fit into the larger picture and what they are accountable for in the strategic process. In fact, thousands of leading companies around the world, including Motorola, Corning, Hewlett-Packard, and Lockheed Martin use roadmaps to improve planning processes that are responsible for sustaining and improving their business performance. “The implementation of roadmapping in an Roadmaps clarify thinking among stakeholders and enable the rapid communication and sharing of ideas. They also reveal valuable linkages among functional areas of a organization should be business that are often disconnected from each other, much like the roads that link managed as a process and disconnect across a map. Roadmaps should not just be viewed as the outputs of improvement of the current a process, but rather a snapshot of a “rolling” strategy at any moment in time.2 planning process and not an initiative unto its own.”2 Roadmapping as a Business Process – Philip J. Whalen, PhD. Roadmapping is also a practice and a business process that involves capturing strate- Principal gic information on a timeline. This data typically relates to business vision, objectives, Whalen Management Group strategies, market requirements, product or service plans, technologies, and capabili- ties. The collected data is then fed into various roadmaps, which include a theme, timeline, time-based elements, and links among these elements. Common roadmaps include: market, product, competitive, technology, supplier, and regulatory/environmental roadmaps; and they typically reflect the planning horizon over multiple time periods. Time-based elements represent the availability of a technology, product, market or decision point. Often, the timing of an event may not be certain. Nevertheless, placing this information in the time domain is extremely important, in that it forces the enterprise to consider its implications. The concepts of scenarios and scenario planning also apply to roadmapping. If the timing of an event, such as a new competing product introduction, has a great degree of uncertainty, two or more scenarios may be mapped. The key is to capture the knowledge and information that impacts the enterprise so that it can be used in formulating strategic plans and business decisions. For example, Corning, a leading diversified technology company, focused on entering new markets, but strategic planning across the organization was not aligned with portfolio planning, R&D efforts or market trends. The company used roadmapping across three divisions to align corporate strategy, R&D and portfolio planning. This helped them identify and select new market opportunities, enter markets early, and earn positive returns for the company within 24 months. The company also saw a decrease in development costs due to fewer last-minute changes that were difficult to integrate further down the development chain. Three Best Practices That Can Sustain the Flow of Innovation in Your Organization Page 4
  5. 5. How Roadmapping Is Being Used “Roadmapping has Roadmaps are being used by companies to create, maintain, share and visualize emerged as an extremely strategic planning information across the enterprise. Roadmaps define clear communication and relationships across products and suppliers, and within effective process for corporate strategies. Stakeholders can view role-based data representation and creating and visualizing see what is important to each specific user, thus raising the level of accountability, relationships among as each element in the roadmap has a specific participant tied to it. business functions in support of strategic Roadmaps are valuable strategy tools because at their core they are all about making decisions. “What-if” scenarios, technology implications, product evolution and technology planning.”3 supplier collaboration are often dedicated subjects of detailed roadmaps that – University of Cambridge support product portfolio decisions, merger and acquisition decisions, and even end- of-life or divestiture decisions. Time provides a common denominator on which any number of dimensions can be played out in advance, creating a canvas on which uncertainty and opportunity are managed into highly probable choices that create a company’s future. Roadmapping software makes this process even easier. For example, Motorola, a global communications leader, used roadmapping software to track and organize tens of thousands of product roadmap documents distributed across the enterprise. The company reported saving more than $100 million in 12 months by consolidating strategic product planning projects across business units. By halting development on a chip that would soon become obsolete, they saved an additional $100 million. Today, thousands of users actively plan, collaborate, and view Motorola’s innovation projects and new potential products using roadmapping software. “Every enterprise needs a process to track innovations At Honeywell, the need for an improved roadmapping discipline grew out of a desire to improve the link between technology innovation, product development and cus- to determine tomer needs. The company sought a business strategy tool that would help them 1) their applicability to evaluate external conditions that impact their business, understand their planned the business, and investments, and decide how to achieve their business goals. In the first 12-18 2) if, and when, to months of deploying roadmapping software, the company improved visibility into implement..”4 upstream R&D efforts, ensuring that projects the company is investing in today are – Gartner on target with what’s important to the company’s future. They now have the ability to leverage roadmaps across their entire enterprise, quickly adjust to ever-changing conditions, and be confident that they are aligned with business objectives. As these examples demonstrate, roadmapping provides companies with a multidi- mensional view of events and other significant milestones as they are anticipated to take place across time. Motorola was able to save money by consolidating project resources. Honeywell was able to ensure that projects they’re working on today are in line with what’s important for their company’s future. Corning was able to bring products to market faster. Companies that get the most out of their strategic roadmapping initiatives act decisively on the information revealed in their roadmaps. They take advantage of a roadmap’s unique capability to create alignment among business functions that move in-and-out of synch, unnoticed. And, although companies often use roadmaps to share a plan, their purpose is often to stimulate thinking about how to improve a plan by managing the uncertainty that it contains. Three Best Practices That Can Sustain the Flow of Innovation in Your Organization Page 5
  6. 6. Roadmaps are effective because they manage uncertainty. This is often one of the elusive facts of roadmapping that is not easily understood. Yet, every plan to address the future must take into account the level of confidence in each part of the plan in order to identify and reduce uncertainty as the plan is further developed. Benefits of Roadmapping Using roadmapping as a strategic planning process, companies benefit from the increased visibility of plans. Such visibility makes it easier to model future scenarios for alternative investment opportunities. Executives no longer rely on “gut feel” to make decisions. Instead, they become informed decision makers who can view alternatives, perform ‘what if’ analysis and proceed with the best courses of action. Flexibility in roadmapping also allows for quick modification of product offerings to meet new market demands and adapt quickly to change. It promotes in-depth collaboration between the company, its customers, and suppliers. Roadmapping enables manufacturers to monitor the progress of any number of product development programs in real time and allows users to visualize where those projects fit into the larger network of collaborative development initiatives. It also increases cross-functional visibility, an advantage that can help uncover opportunities for the reuse of technology across the organization. Because redundant work is minimized and technology reuse is expanded, there are fewer product delays. Thus, time-to-market improves. Roadmapping is also an effective way to evaluate whether an organization’s competencies and capabilities are improving over time. Benefits of Roadmapping  Produces greater alignment between R&D spending and product development initiatives  Sharpens clarity of strategic vision, resulting in better-informed decision making  Manages data, product plans, and goals at a high level  Links markets, products, technologies, capabilities, and supplier intent  Enables discovery of technology re-use and synergy opportunities  Reveals gaps, challenges, and uncertainties in product, technology, and capability plans  Reveals long-term strategic weaknesses before they become critical  Communicates and provides visibility into strategic program direction across the organization  Enables growth of product portfolio in line with corporate and market demands  Provides direction to project teams and enables them to quickly see changes in strategic events or direction Three Best Practices That Can Sustain the Flow of Innovation in Your Organization Page 6
  7. 7. Roadmapping With Software While the business value associated with strategic roadmapping is significant, the scope and complexity of managing so much roadmap information without software is daunting. Some organizations begin strategic roadmapping using Microsoft Power- Point®. However, the ever changing information quickly makes this approach unmanageable. Roadmapping software enables stakeholders to view dynamic planning information in real time, so critical decisions are based on the most current information. Robust roadmapping software does what no other planning solution can do: it makes it possible for a number of stakeholders to work collaboratively on any given project and reveals connections among other ongoing projects across vast enterprises. Vision StrategistTM software makes effectively managing innovation a reality. Vision Strategist streamlines the data gathering process, provides more accurate data, and offers insight into missing data and trends. It can gather, update and synthesize both structured and unstructured data, accelerating the information gathering process and making it easier to create repeatable innovation. Using Vision Strategist, organizations can share forward-looking product, market and technology plans over time, gaining visibility into constraints and dependencies as they emerge. By identifying relationships and linking projects in Vision Strategist, roadmap data can be easily shared, updated and integrated into other parts of the organization. Dynamic content is easily managed using a central repository for housing planning data. Because project plans are maintained centrally, whenever there is a change in a plan the software automatically generates an alert to stakeholders affected by that change, enhancing their ability to manage changing conditions. For more information about our Vision Strategist solution and how we can help your company achieve greater value from your roadmapping and innovation proc- esses, call us at 952-851-7500, or e-mail us at Sources 1 “Strategic and Technology Planning on a Roadmapping Foundation,” Whalen 2 “Strategic and Technology Planning on a Roadmapping Foundation,” Whalen 3 “Customizing Roadmapping,” Research Technology Management, Vol 47, No. 2, Phaal, Farrukh, and Probert 4 “Innovation: Manageable Process or Unmanageable Events?” AV-15-0808, Gartner Group Three Best Practices That Can Sustain the Flow of Innovation in Your Organization Page 7
  8. 8. About Sopheon Sopheon is an international provider of product lifecycle management software and services. Its solutions help organizations increase revenues and profits from new products by synchronizing product planning and innovation process execution. Sopheon’s Accolade® software automates the product development process and provides strategic decision support for the management of product portfolios. Its Vision Strategist™ solution automates the roadmapping process, allowing users to visualize and predict the future of products, markets and technologies. Sopheon’s solutions are used by top innovators throughout the world, including such industry leaders as BASF, Cadbury Schweppes, Corning, Electrolux, General Motors, Honeywell, Motorola, Nestlé and SAB Miller. Sopheon has operating bases in the United States, the United Kingdom and the Netherlands, with distribution, implementation and support channels worldwide. Sopheon Corporation Sopheon NV (NL) Sopheon UK LTD (UK) 3050 Metro Drive Kantoorgebouw OFFICIA 1 The Surrey Technology Centre Minneapolis, Minnesota De Boelelaan 7 40 Occam Road, Surrey Research Park 55425-1566 1083 HJ Amsterdam Guildford Surrey GU2 7YG USA The Netherlands The United Kingdom That Can Sustain the Flow of Innovation in Your Tel: +31 (0) 20 301 3900 Three Best Practices Tel: +1 952-851-7500 Organization Tel: +44 (0) 1483 685 735 Page 8 Fax: +1 952-851-7599 Fax: +31 (0) 20 301 3999 Fax: +44 (0) 1483 685 740