The broad structure in technological forecasting and decision making consists of four main steps:
• Set up the business context
• Frame the questions for answering via the Tech forecasting exercise
• Answer those TF questions using qualitative methods and quantitative ones
• Finally, make the business decision
In the context of technological forecasting, or strategic decision making, we are interested in reinforcing our plans to get benefits and competitive advantages. The strategic decision is where we plan for the change and where we plan for the risk.
Why do we need technology forecast? The technology management function in an organization should be able to argue when to invest on technology development and when to withdraw.
When we are talking about invention, we refer to feasibility and performance. When we are talking about innovation, we refer to production and profitability. There is a gap between invention and innovation, and sometime, the gap is very big. There is a big difference between invention and innovation, which is sometimes expressed in terms of years. The reason of the gap between invention and innovation is the growth of the knowledge, which takes time
For a good forecasting, we need to find a team of collaborators who will provide necessary knowledge from technological, economic, social, and environmental contexts. The team should be efficient enough to work together.
The general stages of forecasting respond to the question of getting knowledge about the future. These are:
• Formulate the problem
• Obtain information
• Select methods
• Implement methods
• Evaluate results
• Use forecasts
Where plans are consistent with the forecast, we implement these plans to get outcomes and results. Broadly speaking, there are three levels of planning:
• Strategic level (five years)
• Tactic level (one to three years)
• Operational level (one to two semesters)
A strategy is a general plan or set of plans intended to achieve something, especially over a long period. It is also managerial plan for strengthening the performance and competitive advantages of a company.
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