Bringing the Fuzzy Front End into Focus

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Technology planning is relatively straightforward for well-established research and development (R and D) areas--those areas in which an organization has a history, the competitors are well understood, and the organization clearly knows where it is going with that technology. What we are calling the fuzzy front-end in this paper is that condition in which these factors are not well understood--such as for new corporate thrusts or emerging areas where the applications are embryonic. While strategic business planning exercises are generally good at identifying technology areas that are key to future success, they often lack substance in answering questions like: (1) ... continued below

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19 p.

Creation Information

Beck, D.F.; Boyack, K.W.; Bray, O.H. & Siemens, W.D. March 3, 1999.

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This article is part of the collection entitled: Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports and was provided by UNT Libraries Government Documents Department to Digital Library, a digital repository hosted by the UNT Libraries. More information about this article can be viewed below.

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  • Sandia National Laboratories
    Publisher Info: Sandia National Labs., Albuquerque, NM, and Livermore, CA (United States)
    Place of Publication: Albuquerque, New Mexico

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Description

Technology planning is relatively straightforward for well-established research and development (R and D) areas--those areas in which an organization has a history, the competitors are well understood, and the organization clearly knows where it is going with that technology. What we are calling the fuzzy front-end in this paper is that condition in which these factors are not well understood--such as for new corporate thrusts or emerging areas where the applications are embryonic. While strategic business planning exercises are generally good at identifying technology areas that are key to future success, they often lack substance in answering questions like: (1) Where are we now with respect to these key technologies? ... with respect to our competitors? (2) Where do we want or need to be? ... by when? (3) What is the best way to get there? In response to its own needs in answering such questions, Sandia National Laboratories is developing and implementing several planning tools. These tools include knowledge mapping (or visualization), PROSPERITY GAMES and technology roadmapping--all three of which are the subject of this paper. Knowledge mapping utilizes computer-based tools to help answer Question 1 by graphically representing the knowledge landscape that we populate as compared with other corporate and government entities. The knowledge landscape explored in this way can be based on any one of a number of information sets such as citation or patent databases. PROSPERITY GAMES are high-level interactive simulations, similar to seminar war games, which help address Question 2 by allowing us to explore consequences of various optional goals and strategies with all of the relevant stakeholders in a risk-free environment. Technology roadmapping is a strategic planning process that helps answer Question 3 by collaboratively identifying product and process performance targets and obstacles, and the technology alternatives available to reach those targets.

Physical Description

19 p.

Notes

OSTI as DE00004181

Medium: P; Size: 19 pages

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  • Journal Name: CHEMTECH; Other Information: Submitted to CHEMTECH

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  • Report No.: SAND99-0532J
  • Grant Number: AC04-94AL85000
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 4181
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc676839

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

Office of Scientific and Technical Information (OSTI) is the Department of Energy (DOE) office that collects, preserves, and disseminates DOE-sponsored research and development (R&D) results that are the outcomes of R&D projects or other funded activities at DOE labs and facilities nationwide and grantees at universities and other institutions.

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  • March 3, 1999

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • July 25, 2015, 2:20 a.m.

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  • April 7, 2017, 4:27 p.m.

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Beck, D.F.; Boyack, K.W.; Bray, O.H. & Siemens, W.D. Bringing the Fuzzy Front End into Focus, article, March 3, 1999; Albuquerque, New Mexico. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc676839/: accessed November 24, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.