Assessing promising technologies

We are all blessed to live in an age filled with wonderful technologies; these breakthroughs have made our lives safer, healthier and immeasurably easier than our ancestors.  I’ve always enjoyed history shows that trace the connections between scientific ideas and inventions.  Some technologies appear to have been destined for stardom regardless of who pursued and pushed them; others that seemed promising were shunted to the sidelines or missed their day in the sun because of bad decisions or random events.

I’ve heard it said that there are no facts about the future.  No one can claim a foolproof process for assessing a promising technology.  However, there is a proven decision pattern that gives context to every decision that surrounds a promising technology.  I can build a Decision Breakdown Structure (DBS) today that represents this science to promising technology to product to business roadmap and use this value-creating chain (actually a network) to assess the commercialization potential of any technology.  This integrated decision/roadmap model can be used to initiate a knowledge and solution “pull” that helps explore the various technology application branches.  A Decision Driven® technology assessment is the starting point for a seamless Decision Driven® product/business accelerator.

A promising technology is just one alternative that delivers a function or set of functions; every technology has competitors within a “Choose Technology for Function X” decision.  To gain market traction, a technology must offer superior performance compared to incumbent solutions and other new technologies; it must “score” better than its competitors against a set of criteria.  These criteria also follow a proven pattern, so you can start this scoring process as soon as you associate a technology with the primary function that it might deliver.  These functions are the building blocks of products/solutions, so a really promising technology may enable multiple new products or at least significantly improve an existing product.  These product ideas may also be scored against their competitors to see if they have legs (and so on for the new business models or markets that these products might serve).

Technology assessment is really about fast-forwarding a decision model into the future and looking at various multiple-decision scenarios (alternative combinations).  It will never be a trivial process, but is a lot easier if you start with a rich, comprehensive and proven decision/criteria pattern.

Evaluate and then accelerate promising technologies with the Decision Breakdown Structure and Decision Driven® Roadmap tools within the Decision Driven® Solutions Framework (DDSF). Please contact the Decision Driven® Solutions team at or to start your free trial of DDSF.

About decisiondriven

Innovator in Decision Management, Systems Thinking and System Engineering methods and tools
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