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2022 | Buch

Technology Roadmapping and Development

A Quantitative Approach to the Management of Technology

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This textbook explains Technology Roadmapping, in both its development and practice, and illustrates the underlying theory of, and empirical evidence for, technologic evolution over time afforded by this strategy. The book contains a rich set of examples and practical exercises from a wide array of domains in applied science and engineering such as transportation, energy, communications, and medicine. Professor de Weck gives a complete review of the principles, methods, and tools of technology management for organizations and technologically-enabled systems, including technology scouting, roadmapping, strategic planning, R&D project execution, intellectual property management, knowledge management, partnering and acquisition, technology transfer, innovation management, and financial technology valuation. Special topics also covered include Moore’s law, S-curves, the singularity and fundamental limits to technology. Ideal for university courses in engineering, management, and business programs, as well as self-study or online learning for professionals in a range of industries, readers of this book will learn how to develop and deploy comprehensive technology roadmaps and R&D portfolios on diverse topics of their choice.

Inhaltsverzeichnis

Frontmatter
Chapter 1. What Is Technology?
Abstract
This chapter discusses the roots and meaning of the word “technology” and how technology can be defined, classified, and described in a rigorous way. We all think we know what technology is from personal experience, and yet it is a multifaceted concept that requires some reflection. We introduce Object Process Methodology (OPM) as a way to model technologies and introduce a functional 3 × 3 grid and later an expanded 5 × 5 grid as the basis for a taxonomy of technology. Finally, this chapter describes the major functions of technology management and how they relate to each other and underpin most research and development (R&D) organizations.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 2. Technological Milestones of Humanity
Abstract
This chapter reviews the history of how humans became a species that creates and uses technology along with some important milestones. The key features of Homo sapiens include our brains, and our ability to use them to form abstractions through language, as well as the extraordinary dexterity of our hands as enablers of technological evolution. We argue that the replacement or augmentation of human and animal strength with machines, such as the steam engine, was one of those key milestones. We review several technological revolutions, including electrification starting in the nineteenth century and the information age which started in the twentieth century. We briefly discuss the role of national identity and conflicts in claiming or accelerating technological progress and speculate on what humanity’s next technological revolution might be in the future.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 3. Nature and Technology
Abstract
This chapter discusses the relationship between nature and technology. We argue that technology – as we have defined it – is not unique to humans but that examples of technology can be found in nature. Next, we review the concepts of bio-inspired design and biomimetics which are the application of biological principles to artificially created technology. Increasingly, with the emergence of biological engineering, we are starting to understand (or are rediscovering) how nature itself can become technology. Finally, we consider the emerging notion of “cyborgs,” which are humans that have inserted technology into their own bodies or are using technology to modify their own bodies. These possibilities have given rise to the new field of bioethics. We can increasingly modify or create biology-based systems and technologies, but should we? Since humans are biology-based animals and are part of nature, some argue that all technology is inherently “natural.”
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 4. Quantifying Technological Progress
Abstract
Technology is not static. It evolves over time. A key question is how to “properly” measure and therefore quantify technological progress. Being able to do so is important in order to set realistic targets for improvements of known technologies and to establish some estimates as to what new technologies would have to be able to achieve, in order to displace incumbent technologies and the products and services that use them. This chapter first discusses how to define figures of merit (FOMs) for quantifying technological progress over time and then applies these FOMs to analyze technology trajectories. We present three complementary models, including the S-curve, exponential improvement (also known as Moore’s Law), as well as Pareto front shifts as a way to track technological progress in multiple dimensions and relative to fundamental asymptotic limits.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 5. Patents and Intellectual Property
Abstract
This chapter begins by explaining the process of patenting and the structure of patents, the oldest standardized format for capturing technological knowledge. We review some historical patents, examples of patent litigation, as well as recent trends in intellectual property (IP) management. While many inventors patent their technologies, some choose other forms of protection such as keeping trade secrets. Recent trends in intellectual property management show rapid increases in the number of patents filed worldwide, but also the importance of protecting (or sharing) technological knowledge through other means. This chapter underlines the need for technology-based firms to develop a comprehensive IP strategy, including the emergence of technology licensing offices (TLOs) at research-intensive universities. Understanding both expired as well as recently filed patents, and how they build on earlier inventions, is an important input for technology roadmapping.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 6. Case 1: The Automobile
Abstract
This chapter is a first in-depth case study and it presents the creation and evolution of the automobile as an example of how technology progresses over time. We explore the roots of the automobile as a means of personal transportation in the late nineteenth century and the Ford Model T, which ushered in the age of mass production. We then survey the technological innovations infused in the automobile in the twentieth century and look at the key figures of merit and efforts made to mitigate undesired side effects such as congestion, emissions, as well as car accidents. There is evidence that the automobile has entered a new age of architectural competition among the internal combustion engine, electric vehicles, and hybrids. The future of the automobile is not only tied to technological innovations such as increased levels of autonomy (self-driving cars) but also the evolution of regulations, urban design, as well as cultural norms and expectations. New business models such as ride-sharing services are likely to have a deep impact on the future of the automobile. The key takeaway from this chapter is that one cannot analyze technology – or create a roadmap for it – unless one is willing to also understand its socio-technical context at a societal level.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 7. Technological Diffusion and Disruption
Abstract
This chapter is about how technologies, after they have been implemented in a product or service, are adopted by users and how they diffuse into society. Generally, once technologies have reached at least TRL 8, they move to TRL 9. TRL stands for Technology Readiness Level and this is a commonly used scale between 1 and 9 to track technologies as they gradually mature from a laboratory environment to deployment in the field. This chapter initially focuses on the initial diffusion of technologies (Rogers, Diffusion of innovations, The Free Press, A Division of Simon & Schusters Inc., 1962). However, technologies are also abandoned and replaced by other newer technologies over time. If this happens quickly or unexpectedly and affects a whole economic sector, we talk about technological “disruption.” A kind of paralysis by owners of incumbent technologies due to this phenomenon of technological disruption has been described as the “Innovator’s Dilemma” by Christensen (The innovator’s dilemma – when new technologies cause great firms to fail, Harvard Business Review Press, 1997). The adoption, rejection, diffusion, and eventual abandonment of technologies is a crucial phenomenon that needs to be understood in detail to do meaningful roadmapping.
When considering technology diffusion and disruption, such as the adoption of electric appliances like refrigerators instead of ice boxes (Utterback, Mastering the Dynamics of Innovation. Harvard Business School Press, Boston, 1994) or communications via the Internet instead of hand-written letters, we often forget that many “old” technologies don’t disappear completely but persist for decades (or even centuries) in niche applications. We still use ice boxes on camping trips, and some of us still write physical letters on paper (at least on special occasions). Also, there are those, because of geographical isolation, religious belief, or concerns for the environment, who choose not to adopt modern technologies at all.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 8. Technology Roadmapping
Abstract
This chapter begins by explaining what a technology roadmap is and why it is important in helping organizations plan for the future. We also discuss briefly the history of technology roadmapping (Kerr and Phaal, Technol Forecast Soc Chang 155:119967, 2020) as well as provide an example of a reference technology roadmap. This roadmap is designated as “2SEA” and concerns the development and deployment of solar electric aircraft. We give examples of organizations, such as NASA, that rely extensively on technology roadmapping and provide a normative approach to roadmapping called the advanced technology roadmap architecture (ATRA). Finally, we provide a scale for technology roadmapping that organizations can use to assess their own capabilities and maturity level in terms of technology roadmapping. This approach was implemented at a major aerospace company, with significant impact on the composition and direction of their R&D portfolio, and has since been adopted by others in industry, government, and academia.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 9. Case 2: The Aircraft
Abstract
This is our second case study and it focuses on the development of heavier-than-air aircraft and the development of the civil air transportation system. The evolution of aircraft is impressive in terms of both performance and safety. Despite the fact that most commercial jet aircraft today look quite similar to the pioneering Boeing 707 (The Boeing 707 had its first flight in 1957: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Boeing_707) which eventually became the dominant design, there are many new technologies that have enabled the unique air transportation system we have today. One area of particular importance is the development of the high-bypass ratio, turbofan engine. We conclude by looking forward in time and establishing a list of challenges and potential competitors when it comes to future aviation technologies.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 10. Technology Strategy and Competition
Abstract
This chapter examines the role of competition as a driver of technological progress. We take a brief historical look at the arms race during the Cold War between the United States and the Soviet Union. We then discuss several real-world situations of technological competition in duopolies and provide a framework for quantifying this effect using game theory. We also look at technological competition through the lens of network and graph theory. Finally, we conclude by describing the role of industry standards as a way to level the playing field in terms of competition in a particular industry. The reason this topic is important in that it helps clarify the strategic input into technology roadmapping and setting clear targets to be achieved.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 11. Systems Modeling and Technology Sensitivity Analysis
Abstract
This chapter takes a functional view of how technologies can and should be evaluated in a systems context. The main point is that technologies don’t have value on their own. Only in the context of a “host” system or product can technologies be properly evaluated. The simplest way to do this is to generate a two-level decomposition with the product or system at level 1 and the constituent technologies at level 2.
Once this decomposition is done, we perform system modeling to quantitatively relate the technological variables and figures of merit (FOMs) at level 2 to product-level FOMs at level 1. This then enables a sensitivity analysis to see how much a unit improvement in a specific technology will improve a product or system at the level above. When constrained system optimization is performed, we obtain the Lagrange multipliers (also known as shadow prices) for the active constraints in the system. This is a powerful way to quantify how technological progress can move or eliminate active constraints in the system, which leads to further improvement in the FOMs at the product or system level. Said differently, it may not help to improve a technology at the lower level, if it is not somehow associated with an active constraint at the system or product level. Understanding this in a quantitative way is a crucial – and often overlooked – element of technology roadmapping. Examples in this chapter include aircraft, diesel exhaust aftertreatment systems, as well as local resource production on the Moon (This is also known as in situ resource utilization (ISRU). Examples of ISRU include drilling for water ice on the Moon or on our neighboring planet Mars. The recent MOXIE experiment on the Mars 2020 Perseverance Rover has demonstrated oxygen production from the CO2-rich Martian atmosphere using a technology called solid oxide electrolysis (SOE)).
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 12. Technology Infusion Analysis
Abstract
The prior chapter focused on technology sensitivity analysis from a primarily functional and parametric perspective, for example, “How much % improvement in variable x is needed until the figure of merit J at the mission or product level becomes feasible?”. This chapter now adds considerations of form, that is, physical components, software, and interfaces when integrating or “infusing” a new technology into an existing or future system. We ask the following questions: “How much effort is required to infuse a new technology?” and ultimately, “Is it worth it?” (This chapter is mainly based on the following paper: Suh, Eun Suk, Michael R. Furst, Kenneth J. Mihalyov, and Olivier de Weck. “Technology infusion for complex systems: A framework and case study.” Systems Engineering, 13, no. 2 (2010): 186–203, slightly edited and reprinted with permission.)
Technology-based companies in today’s competitive environment constantly need to develop new technologies and infuse them into their line of products to stay ahead of the competition (see Chaps. 7 and 10). Most new technologies only deliver value once they are successfully infused into a parent system. This chapter presents a systematic framework to quantify and assess the impact of technology infusion early in the product planning cycle. The methodology estimates the impact of technology infusion through the use of a design structure matrix (DSM) and the creation of a Delta-DSM (ΔDSM) describing the changes to the original system due to the infused technology. The cost for technology infusion is then estimated from the ΔDSM, and the potential market impact of the technology is calculated based on customer value, expressed through utility curves for key system figures of merit (FOMs). Finally, the probabilistic ΔNPV (net present value) of a newly infused technology is obtained using Monte-Carlo simulation. The methodology is demonstrated on an actual complex printing system (the baseline product is the iGen3 digital printing press manufactured by Xerox), represented as an 84-element DSM with a density of 3.7%, where a newly developed image-correction technology was infused into the existing product. The result shows that a positive marginal net present value, ΔNPV, can be expected, despite the new technology causing an invasiveness of 8.5% to the existing design. An example of diesel exhaust system aftertreatment technology is presented at the end of the chapter.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 13. Case 3: The Deep Space Network
Abstract
In this case study, we discuss the creation and evolution of the Deep Space Network (DSN). The DSN is NASA’s network of antennas and systems used to communicate with our interplanetary probes. The system was created in 1963, initially to support lunar robotic, and later the human missions to the Moon under the Apollo program. Since then, dozens of missions to interplanetary destinations such as Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, and Pluto, among others, have used the DSN to send commands to the spacecraft and return science data and telemetry back to Earth. The technological evolution of the DSN over six decades is impressive with over 13 orders of magnitude improvement in data rate for downlinks from a Jupiter-equivalent distance. These improvements are due to a combination of larger antennas, higher frequencies, low noise receivers, and sophisticated coding techniques. We conclude by looking at the future of the DSN which may include optical laser communications over distances of hundreds of millions of kilometers.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 14. Technology Scouting
Abstract
This chapter is primarily looking at the flow of technological information from the outside of an organization into the organization in order to enhance its knowledge and capabilities. We first analyze the historical and present sources that produce new and improved technologies. We then deep-dive into the role of individual inventors, universities, industry, startups, and government labs. Special attention has recently been paid to so-called technology clusters and ecosystems where innovation in specific domains (e.g., life sciences, software, aerospace, and automotive) is concentrated. Next, we discuss specifically what is technology scouting and how to set up and run an effective technology scouting organization and its associated processes. We discuss the emergence of technology-focused venture capital and the process of due diligence and conclude on a more controversial but very real topic: competitive intelligence and industrial espionage. Technology scouting is an important feeder for technology roadmapping in order to avoid blind spots, and help create a realistic view of what is the current state of the art and what technologies are being worked on by others.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 15. Knowledge Management and Technology Transfer
Abstract
This chapter describes the primary ways in which technological knowledge can and should be managed inside of organizations. This is in contrast to Chapter “Technology Scouting”, which looked at the question of how technological information flows into the organization from the outside. We first discuss ways in which technological information is captured through documents, models, artifacts, and in people’s minds. We also present technological knowledge management (KM) as an emerging field of research and as a major need and challenge for organizations and give guidelines and examples of both internal and external technology transfer. Technology transfer can happen not only within an organization but also across organizations. We conclude with a brief discussion on reverse engineering as a form of reconstruction of technological knowledge from existing technological artifacts and systems. The quality of technology roadmaps is often a reflection of how well technological knowledge is managed inside an organization. An explicit knowledge management system will help avoid duplication of technological developments and keep an organization from “reinventing the wheel.”
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 16. Research and Development Project Definition and Portfolio Management
Abstract
Ultimately, technology progresses through individual steps which are the results of specific research and development (R&D) projects. In this chapter, we first describe what kinds of R&D projects exist, and how to plan and successfully execute them. We then consider how multiple projects together – as a set – constitute an R&D portfolio. Portfolios can be defined with the help of targets set by technology roadmaps. Given a fixed total R&D budget, it is also possible to optimize the composition of an R&D portfolio by balancing expected return and risk. We give an example of what an R&D portfolio might look like, by considering the portfolio of a major technology firm.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 17. Technology Valuation and Finance
Abstract
In this chapter, we look at the connection between technology and finance. This is important since given a finite R&D investment ceiling, technologies have to be rank-ordered using the “value” they can deliver to their parent system. First, we take a macroeconomic perspective by considering what has been the impact of technical innovation on so-called “total factor productivity,” which according to Bob Solow’s work (1957), has been an important factor in overall advancement of economic output. We then look at the role of research and development (R&D) investments and its impact on the profit and loss statement (P/L) as well as the balance sheet of individual firms. Some examples of corporate R&D portfolios (at least what is publicly available) will be discussed. We close by looking at technology valuation (TeVa) to translate technical figures of merit (FOM) into financial ones. We use the case of a hypothetical commuter airline as a simplified case study to illustrate how technical FOMs can be quantified in financial terms.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 18. Case 4: DNA Sequencing
Abstract
This chapter is our fourth case study where we consider technological evolution in the life sciences. Specifically, we take a look at the discovery of DNA in the 1950s and its structure and ways to sequence these long molecular chains which contain the building block information for living organisms. Starting with chain termination methods in the 1960s and 1970s, the sequencing of DNA has made several orders of magnitude improvement in terms of speed, accuracy, and price. Today, it is possible to sequence the full genome of a human under $1000.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 19. Impact of Technological Innovation on Industrial Ecosystems
Abstract
This chapter is about the interplay of technological innovation and industry structure. In Chap. 7, we discussed how technologies and the products that contain them are adopted and diffused into society. In this chapter, we build upon those concepts (such as the S-curve) with a focus on how technological innovation in industries and markets comes about and the underlying system dynamics that drive innovation and shape industrial ecosystems. The usefulness of these concepts is to better understand how to successfully implement and “seed” the adoption of a new innovation, and its associated technologies, once the direction and targets of R&D investments have been determined through the underlying technology roadmaps.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 20. Military and Intelligence Technologies
Abstract
In this chapter, we consider the specific aspects of military technologies, as well as those used by the intelligence services. After a brief history of military technology, we focus on the improvement of canons as evidence of progress in military technologies and artillery systems. While military technology often has to satisfy some of the most extreme requirements in terms of robustness, weight, performance, and other figures of merit (FOM), we also observe the possibility of some of these technologies to be spun-off into civilian life. While R&D for military technology is most often done in secrecy, there have been efforts to either repurpose commercial technologies or to experiment with open innovation mechanisms to retain an edge over adversaries that may have less capable innovation systems. Finally, we conclude by observing that warfare has recently expanded into new domains such as outer space and cyberspace. This domain is a special case of the application of technology roadmapping to a domain that is constrained by national security and secrecy constraints that are different from those in the commercial sector as discussed in the prior chapters.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 21. Aging and Technology
Abstract
In this chapter, we first discuss the changing demographics of our species, homo sapiens. While we have very young populations in many developing countries, we observe an increasing number of people aged 65+ in other countries. This brings up a number of challenges, including how seniors can achieve a long and healthy life, a goal which can potentially be facilitated by technologies. However, the track record of technologies designed specifically for “seniors” is mixed at best. We explore the factors that drive technology adoption by an aging population and give examples of both successes and failures. We conclude with a summary of “universal design” which is the concept that products and technologies should be designed with all users in mind.
Olivier L. de Weck
Chapter 22. The Singularity: Fiction or Reality?
Abstract
In this final chapter, we look toward the more distant future of technology and humanity. We first ask if there are ultimate limits to technology. This brings us to the question of the so-called “singularity,” a prophesized point where technology becomes self-improving and outpaces human capabilities with the potential to render humans obsolete. Whether or not a technological singularity is coming, it is already evident that humans are using technology to augment their own bodies and minds. The future of our species (and our planet) has not yet been written. Different utopian and dystopian futures have been proposed, both in the scientific literature and in the arts. In the end, it is up to us, individuals, firms, and governments to invest in and develop technologies that are deployed in systems for a long-term positive and sustainable future. We conclude by summarizing seven key messages from this book.
Olivier L. de Weck
Backmatter
Metadaten
Titel
Technology Roadmapping and Development
verfasst von
Prof. Dr. Olivier L. De Weck
Copyright-Jahr
2022
Electronic ISBN
978-3-030-88346-1
Print ISBN
978-3-030-88345-4
DOI
https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-030-88346-1

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