Companies that aspire to market leadership realize thatinnovation is crucial to their business success. In a recent studyof 940 executives by The Boston Consulting Group1, 87 percentof all respondents agreed that organic growth throughinnovation is essential to success in their respective industry. Inaddition, three-quarters of these executives said that theircompanies’ spending on innovation would increase during thecurrent fiscal year.However, the same report also found that 51 percent of therespondents expressed dissatisfaction with the financial returnson investment (ROI) they receive from their innovationinitiatives. This anxiety is compounded by additional researchthat shows “there is no correlation” between R&D spending andsales growth, earnings or shareholder returns.2
Analysis by AMR Research suggests that the disconnectbetween R&D spend rates and business results stemsfrom the maturity of the management processes used tooversee R&D investment.3As the study indicates, creating ideas and technology is onething; leveraging those elements in the market place is another.At the end of the day, it would appear that “How youspend is far more important than how much you spend.”4
According to the Product DevelopmentManagement Association (PDMA), the ultimategoal of technology management is: To prioritize and focus research and development efforts on technology opportunities today that will have a positive effect on corporate revenues in the future.5
Looking at new product development processesholistically, these studies suggest that today’sincreasing demand for faster, better and less expensiveproduct development requires more effective upfrontplanning and a cohesive alignment between strategicplanning, technology planning, product research andproduct development. In essence, the alignment andintegration of these functions is the delineating factorin determining business winners from business losers.PDMA expands on this conclusion: To accomplish their goals, corporations should invest in tools, processes and structure that support the identification of technological opportunities to fuel product innovation and product- to-market excellence.6
To maximize success, companies requiremanagement processes that enable them tooversee their R&D investments and connect theirR&D spending to real-world business results.These new product development processesdemand more upfront planning and a closealignment between the company’s strategicplanning, technology planning, product researchand product development functions.
Research organizations, product developmentgroups, product managers, marketing managersand legal organizations are stakeholders intechnology management.
Stakeholde Why technology management mattersrResearch Efficient technology planning and management shouldmanagers and leaders sharply focus research efforts, share knowledge andand leaders directly influence downstream product development and manufacturing.Product Effective technology management should result in managementdevelopmen standardized technology platforms and increased understanding of thet important roles these platforms play in meeting market requirements. These improvements provide the product development organizationmanagemen with a clear opportunity to increase quality and reduce developmentt cost.Product By mapping technology to specific market requirementsmanagemen and marketing and product capabilities, product managers are able tot and more clearly outline how product architectures relate to customer benefits.marketingLegal Technology management provides the legal organization with a relatively simple method for signing and witnessing process performance as it relates to
PDMA12 references well known research13 in its definition of“technology planning.” Technology planning is the process of knowledge acquisition, which can be later used in the design of new products to meet market needs.Technology planning enables companies to:• Align their technology acquisition efforts with business and strategicgoals• More clearly focus their technology development efforts• Better understand, leverage and protect their intellectual property• Better identify general technological advances for current and futureproduct development• More effectively utilize technology in product developmentprocesses• Better understand their core competencies• Provide their products with a competitive edge
PDMA furthers this discussion by indicating that: Technology planning is the process that results in an actionable plan to leverage new and existing technologies, consistent with business strategies and customer needs.
In this context, technology is defined as scientificknow-how that is embodied inpeople, plants, patents, laboratories andequipments.14 In essence, technology representsthe framework that underpins a company’s futureproducts, as well as the development andmanufacturing processes that support theseproducts. As a result, it is imperative forcompanies to clearly understand what technologyis available to them and how these technologiescan be used to meet the needs of their targetmarkets.
Acquire knowledge Use knowledge Technology base Idea base Product baseTechnology development Product development
PDMA defines a framework for the technology planningprocess that consists of three key areas of input: technologyinsight, competitive insight and marketing insight. Byconsidering these three knowledge basestogether, companies are able to place their technologyplanning process within a broader business context thathelps maximize the company’s business success.The technology planning process begins with the formationof a cross-discipline team that best represents thefunctional areas crucial for identifying and developingcritical technology. Typically, this team includes key R&Dstaff having both technical background and strategicvision, their marketing counterparts andconsultants/industry experts.
Technology planning starts with the formation of across-discipline team that will identify whattechnology, capabilities and competencies arerequired to develop a particular product. As theplanning process proceeds, the team furtherdefines where these technologies will be appliedand what aspects can be commonized. Then, theteam looks at the competitive landscape toperform a strengths,weaknesses, opportunities andthreats (SWOT) analysis.
Technology Insights Internal technology capabilities Industry/supplier direction Patent activity Competitive Insights Product Information Technology direction Consumer habits Market InsightsBrand identity/message Business plan Customer needs
PDMA provides a 10-step process to outline andarticulate a full-fledge technology planning process.The first four steps in this process describe thebrainstorming techniques required to assess newideas from a short-term, medium-term and long-termtechnology perspective.Later steps are taken to ensure that these technologyopportunities are aligned with the companysstrategic objectives – with conceptual productprototypes and product roadmaps being prepared inmany instances.
Explore technology via technology mining Step Step 2 Step 3 Step 5 Step 8 10Ste Step 4 Brainstor Step 6 Step 9 Identify Align Develop Updat Conduct Link Updatep1 technolog categories competitiv m opportuni strategie and e andForm y with technolog s and publis e ties to publish Tea categories functional y actions h opportunit business technolog m – building product opportuni with busine y analysis objectives y plan blocks areas ties CFT ss plan Step 7 Industry Review competitiv opportunities e direction with core Current business technolog planning team Marketing y position business plan brand
As the accompanying diagram indicates, the initial four steps in the PDMA technology planning process form the basis for brainstorming about new ideas for the short-term, medium-term and long-term technological opportunities defined in step 5. Once these opportunities are identified, the team should review this comprehensive list to ensure their fit with the company’s strategic business needs. This step provides an initial screen that should extend beyond the company’s own internal technologies. At this point in the process, the team often outlines “philosophical product prototypes” and product roadmaps.
Year 2012 2013 2014 2015 2016 2017 2018Product A A1 A2 A3 A4Product B B1 B2 B3 B4Technologies Technolog Technolo y alpha gy alpha’ Technolog Technolog y beta y gamma
A core business planning team should review, screen and filter the shortened opportunity list to establish a prioritized list of short- term, medium-term and long-term opportunities. The planning team will use this list to focus its energies on a relatively small number of go-forward technological strategies. Ideally, this focus should be broken down into a series of gated due-diligence decisions (technical feasibility studies) that are undertaken for each technology strategy. With these broader actions in mind, the core planning team can then outline the commercialization strategies. Once these strategies have been reviewed, they can be published and distributed to the wider team, along with appropriate business plans. An internal advisory team should be established to regularly review the initial technology plan (with an semi-annual review being the bare minimum).
Creating the Competitive Edge Alignment within the business and to the markets Technology Roadmap and Markets trends Including Competitors’ Roadmaps Prioritization and focus Planning and execution tracking Deliverable tracking and notifications Standard templates linking Consumable by other processes including Intellectual Property Action Plans by role and/or stage in the process Dynamic reminders Resourcing by Competencies ROI Support Pro forma and variance reporting Real-time analysis Supports process effectiveness thru metrics and improvement tracking
Have claim charts prepared if appropriate Demonstrate consideration of substitutes Provide assignment documents Demonstrate clear title (no liens) Manufacturability (defect rate) Testing and Environment used Provide a valuation
Clearly identifying the document Clearly identifying the version of the document Missing, incorrect, or out-of-date documents can cost dearly in the negotiation and defense of IP Timeliness of documentation is key to dating when invention was discovered and filings made.
1. Innovation 2005, The Boston Consulting Group2. “Money Isn’t Everything”, The Booz Allen Hamilton Global Innovation 1000, Barry Jaruzelski, Kevin Dehoff, Raheska Bordia, 20053. Unmanaged R&D Spending is the Leak that Shareholders Want Plugged, Kevin O’Marah, Laura Carillo, AMR Research, 2005.4. Op. cit., Booz Allen Hamilton5. The PDMA Handbook of New Product Development, Kenneth B. Kahn, George Castellion, Abbie Griffin, Second Edition, 20056. Ibid.7. Op. cit., Unmanaged R&D Spending, AMR Research8. Op. cit., PDMA Handbook.9. Intellectual Property, Smart Management, A. K. Jain, 199910. The Knowledge Management Handbook, W. Burkowitz, R. Williams, 1999.11. The Innovator’s Dilemma, Clayton A. Christenson, 2003.12. Op. Cit., PDMA Handbook.13. “Developing Effective Technology Strategies”, Steve Bone, Tim Saxson, Research-Technology Management, 2000.14. Ibid.15. New Product Development: Profiting from Innoviation
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Degrees in CS and MBA Ran 3 PMO’s at business level VP, Development, CTO, CIO, CFO, CEO Many 1st to market products Member of Project Mgmt Society 10+ years Member of Product Development Mgmt Assc Guest speaker: Stanford’s Graduate School of Business PMI Annual Convention Certified Agile Scrum Master Certified Salesforce.com Admin and Developer
Pete Harnack Miller Heiman: Strategic Selling Large Account Management Conceptual Selling Pragmatic Marketing Training: Effective Product Marketing Practical Product Management Master of Science in Managing in Science and Technology, Oregon Health Sciences University/Oregon Graduate Center Certified Document Imaging Architect