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Visualizing Strategic and Technology Roadmaps with Roadmapper’s Workbench™

The classic technology roadmap shows the evolution of a product's or system's architectural elements over time. Technologies are described by their sources (“where we’ll get the technology”) and their status (existing, planned, unplanned, for example). Here are some examples:

Figure 1 shows a roadmap in which the product architecture has three elements (A-C). The legend shows the range of technology sources of technologies with shapes and colors and the status of each technology element is defined by the weight and type of the outline.

Figure 1 Product-Technology Roadmap

Here's how to read the technology roadmap: We are currently using existing technology 1 (which we developed ourselves) to implement Element A, and we have a plan to replace it with technology 2 (that we will obtain from a supplier) in 2010. For Element B, we are using technology 3 and we will use a cost reduced version of technology 3 obtained from a supplier in 2008. Element C uses technology a and technology b (which we developed with a partner). The roadmap includes a “Vision” for Element C, that is at some unspecified time in the future, we see the ultimate technology for Element C will be technology e. Technology e is currently unplanned (“we don’t have a current plan to implement”), but we hope to obtain technology e from research.

The roadmap in Figure 2 adds information about development plans for some critical technologies. For technology 2 to be ready in 2010, we must begin development in 2008 and demonstrate feasibility in mid-2009. We must begin to work with a supplier in 2009 to have technology 6 ready for inclusion in the product in 2010.

Figure 2 Technology Roadmap with Development Intervals

Some roadmap formats display the evolution of multiple layers of Market, Product and Technology. Figure 3 shows a multi-layer roadmap where the idea is to show relationships among the markets, products, and technologies involved in the plan.

Figure 3 Layered Roadmap

It is sometimes helpful to show links and dependencies among the elements. In Figure 4, the connections from technologies to products shows how products depend on technologies. For example, Model 1 requires Tech a and Model 2 depends on Tech b.

Figure 4 Layered Roadmap with Links

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