A Technology Roadmap is a specialized type of strategic plan that outlines technology activities that an organization can undertake over a specified time frame to achieve stated program and technology goals and outcomes. It’s a plan that applies to a new product or process, or to an emerging technology. The main purpose is to show the insertion points of technologies into products design and development and forecasting. There are three (3) major uses: [1][2]

  1. Helps reach a consensus about a set of needs and the technologies required to satisfy those needs
  2. Provides a mechanism to help forecast technology development
  3. Provides a framework to help plan and coordinate technology developments

Guide: Energy Technology Roadmap Guide

Marie L. Garcia, Olin H. Bray (1997) “Fundamentals of Technology Road mapping” Sandia National Labs

Development Process
A Technology Roadmap development process should ensure that a roadmap identifies mutual goals and determines specific and achievable technology tasks and actions towards realizing a common vision. On average, it takes six to 14 months to develop a roadmap. The process includes two types of activities (Expert Judgment/Consensus and Data and Analysis) and four phases (Planning and Preparation, Visioning, Roadmap Development and Roadmap Implementation and Revision). After a roadmap is completed, implementation and updating ensure the complete realization of the vision and goals. [1]

Figure: Roadmap Development Process focused on Energy Technologies [1]


Types of Technology Roadmaps
There are two (2) main different types of technology roadmaps which are: [3]

  1. Product Technology Roadmap: driven by product/process needs.
  2. Emerging Technology Roadmap: differs from a product technology roadmap in two ways:
    • They lack the broader product context provided by the product technology roadmap.
    • They focuses on (1) forecasting the development and commercialization of a new or emerging technology, (2) the competitive position of a company with respect to that technology, and (3) how the emerging technology and the company’s competitive position will develop

An effective Technology Road mapping process maximizes participants’ engagement in creating the plan, thereby building consensus and increasing the likelihood that those involved will implement the roadmap priorities. A roadmap also evolves in the sense that the process does not stop when the document is published. Rather, the roadmap evolves as progress is made, external factors change and more information becomes available. The frequency with which a roadmap is updated depends largely on the time frame under consideration. Typically, national-level roadmaps are updated periodically (e.g., every two to five years). Technology-specific roadmaps are sometimes updated more frequently to reflect progress, changes in available resources or scheduling considerations. [1]

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Updated: 6/22/2018

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