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Technology Roadmap Leading to Enhanced Strategic Roadmapping

Technology roadmapping, in some form or other, has been around for hundreds of years. The early roadmap evolved from simply establishing a hypothesis and developing methods to prove and/or disprove the hypothesis. The current techniques enable the research scientists and technologists to set research and development targets and often achieve them within budget and schedule.

In line with the need to decrease development cycle time of new products and decrease time to market for new products, Motorola, led by Bob Galvin, began the process of developing a structured methodology to develop roadmaps. This methodology later turned in to a process to tie strategic planning with technology roadmapping and evolved into vision management. The following brief description describes the evolution of the process by Motorola.Twenty-five years ago, Motorola Chief Executive Officer, Bob Galvin saw the need to implement a common process for strategic planning within the Motorola worldwide organization. He stated "The fundamental purpose of the Technology Reviews and the Technology Roadmaps is to assure that we put in motion today what is necessary in order to have the right technology, processes, components and experience in place to meet the future needs for products and services." His vision of so long ago is currently being enhanced by a corporate initiative that is proving to be extremely beneficial to Motorola.

Mr. Galvin's statement has been the vision of Motorola's "One Motorola Roadmap" initiative. Over the years, Bob has said that roadmapping, one of Motorola's methods of doing strategic planning, is one of the key elements that makes Motorola different from any other corporation. In recent times, however, there has been less emphasis on this process, which may have been the reason why Motorola missed several great business opportunities such as the late start Motorola had in the digital phone market. To summarize their vision, it is basically "One Motorola Roadmap."

In late 1998, Chris Galvin, the current CEO, as well as the Technology Action Council under the Chief Technology Officer's direction, agreed that this is the time for a renewal of the strategic roadmapping as part of the overall Motorola continuous renewal effort. This roadmapping effort is key to their strategic planning and is performed at all levels of the organization. By recognizing the need to have all of Motorola utilize a common process as well as a common tool to build these strategic plans, the corporate initiative One Motorola Roadmap came into existence. The Technology Action Council wrote the initiative's current mission statement:

"Implement the technology roadmap planning and review processes that integrate technology plans across the corporation, while providing a system of checks and balances to eliminate misjudgments and market surprises through a linkage of technology plans to business strategies and product plans."

While Motorola's roadmaps come in many types and contexts, they all are focused on the work that is being developed within each department or project. The 'One Motorola Roadmap' initiative provides a common roadmapping process, a common tool (VisionMapÔ ), as well as a common database for all of Motorola. This gives Motorola associates the ability to create, build, and share their technology visions, products, and business strategy roadmaps throughout the corporation.

By utilizing a common process in their strategic roadmapping efforts, several implications have affected Motorola. Motorolans now have:

  • a continuous process of update and renewal,
  • a balance of strategic planning and tactical reaction, and
  • an appropriate level of information and ownership at all levels of the organization.

With the entire organization using a common tool, VisionMapÔ , Motorolans are now better able to form dependency linkages and results. The use of a common tool will also improve the overall effectiveness of the strategic roadmapping process company-wide through better communications and instant access.

Motorola's enhanced strategic roadmapping process also provides a transition from roadmapping to strategic planning; creates and develops a strong coupling between core competencies, products and key technologies; uses a standard set of planning models per group; and uses the VisionmapÔ tool to capture the frequent changes in a continuous process. The most important aspect of the roadmapping process is the understanding and sharing that it promotes throughout the organization. It should be understood that this is an on-going effort of continual renewal and review.

Under the direction of James Richey, Motorola has taken the enhanced strategic roadmapping process to the next level - Vision Management. Vision Management allows an organization to manage their future even more effectively. Through the efforts of managing their visions, an organization can create their vision scenarios, which include large uncertainties. They can also identify change control points, form synthesis patterns that describe gaps, white spaces and disruptions as well as evaluate their risk. By moving to this next level of strategic planning and Vision Management, Motorola is definitely setting itself apart from its competitors.

MASET will work with your organization to facilitate the development of a technology roadmap directly tied to and supporting the organization's strategic plans and targets. Please contact us if you are interested in learning how we can assist you in developing an organization where Vision Management is a way an organization operates and is a way that it uses technology and strategic planning to achieve the targets necessary for continued growth and expansion of the organization in this very competitive environment of the twenty first century.

MASET, LLC    P. O. Box 11663    Chandler, AZ 85248
Phone: 602-721-3680     Fax 480-802-4710


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