Roadmapping

(source: EFP foresight guide)

Road-mapping is a vision driven tool for presenting the path from the current state to the desired future state. It provides a graphical presentation of the nodes representing state of knowledge and their interdependencies, which link the current development trends to the desired future. The detailed process can be implemented in many ways and the method is often combined with vision building and participatory methods.

Roadmaps communicate visions, attract resources from business and government, stimulate investigations and monitor progress. They become the inventory of possibilities for a particular field…

Robert Galvin, Chairman and CEO of Motorola

How to do it

The construction of the roadmap consists of collecting, synthesising and validating the information, and representing the trends within graphical displays associated with support documents. It is neither practical nor desirable to attempt to develop a single, standardised methodology. Rather, the approach should be based on a light and modular process using a “toolbox” with different modules depending on the roadmapping areas, issues, context and objectives.

Schematically, the methodology consists of relating major political or socio-economic challenges, seen as potential outputs of R&D developments, back to the present S&T policies through various technological paths. Traditional TRM tends to focus on the development trajectories of technologies to provide new products (Corporate TRM) or on detailed enabling technologies in the pre-competitive domain (Industry TRM).

When to use roadmapping?

Roadmaps can be applied

  • In definition and embedding of R&D targets
  • In characterization of development and competence needs
  • As a strategic tool to combine different temporal perspectives and aims of a firm
  • As a tool to map the changes in the markets
  • As a tool plan business activities and networks
  • In the anticipation of the long-term changes in the environment
  • As a tool raise awareness of technological and environmental changes, especially in combination with scenarios

Examples & more information

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