Yes, despite all the hype, technology roadmapping is a very useful process for almost any company as it drives a review that will inform strategic thinking. This is not just puff and big words, it is trying to say that process of formally thinking about strategy, is always useful.
The first stage in defining technical strategy is deciding who will be the user. Will the strategy be used for a small internal group, driving company wide strategy or lobbying government? The style of output will clearly be linked to the final usage.
The second stage is consulting expert opinion. This consultation may take the form of interviews, workshops desk-based research, or a combination of all three. In addition it may also involve internal and external experts, as well as the opinions of end users and customers.Whatever the final output document, be it a presentation, or a report, it will need to be founded in the information collected, if it is to be an authoritative guide to strategy.
One effective approach to consultation, is to define in advance to structure of the information that will be collected. This is particularly useful if summary information is to be presented in the form of charts directly derived from the data. With such a clear linkage between the consultation to the report the possibility of auditing for accuracy is possible, also the data may be re-used in subsequent updates of the consultation process and final strategy document. At workshops, the data may be collected using something as simple as flip charts with pre drawn boxes, or a more sophisticated form. Generally the group dynamics work better with paper based methods than computer based methods.
Consider outputting the final report as a presentation rather than a report. Printed, many people find the few words and big pictures style of a presentation highly digestible, compared to a report. The image here consolidates information using colour, position and size to report on the UK's competitive position in the use of surface treatment technologies as well established to internationally leading. Although the spread of dots suggests that this view is far from unanimous.