Strategic roadmapping has been in use since the mid-1940s but it is only in the last 15 years that the theory and practice of effective roadmapping have become more prevalent.
Roadmapping is a technique to create, synthesize and communicate complex information over some time horizon. It is used by organizations of all sizes and many types to plan out the offers of value creation (innovation) whether they be products, processes, services or research themes. Critically, effective roadmapping interconnects layers of information for an audience as a narrative.
Many organisations attempt strategic planning for their innovation activities but studies show the practice falls behind the promise. Paul Leinwand showed, from the leadership of strategy perspective, how over 90% of organizations either fail to plan or fail in execution. For R&D, Bob Cooper studied the role of strategic thinking and practice and showed glimpses of higher performance between the worst and best-performing firms. He showed that over twice as many best-performing firms use strategic roadmaps as compared to the worst-performing firms.
Strategic Roadmapping helps organizations improve their alignment, coordination and communication about their future innovations and capabilities. Roadmaps have helped NASA deliver its missions, help secure 1bn Euros in funding for the Graphene Flagship project and by SMEs to prioritize their precious resources.
The so-called “Cambridge school” of roadmapping has produced a large body of knowledge in the theory and practice of roadmapping.
Good results on roadmapping, come from attention to the design of a process, of appropriate facilitation and consideration of communication aspects. This presentation brings key points on the influence of this approach to solving a variety of very real and important problems.
Several personas are used to bring into reality the problems innovation leaders can face and show how roadmapping can help them address their challenges. Further examples indicate what was learned from the implementation of roadmaps and on the practice of using roadmapping to create, develop and communicate innovative plans to external resource providers and stakeholders.
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