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Understanding and Managing Technology for Business Sustainability

Technology makes possible all the products, services and infrastructure that we need. All companies depend upon it for developing new products and services, and for running their whole businesses. Technology is often complicated in its detail and therefore hard to grasp. But the various concepts of the nature of technology, the different types of technology, how it originally developed and progresses, how it might be used, are all not too difficult to grasp by non-technical people as well as by technical people. These concepts are needed to understand technology, and to help manage its development and use, as well as for the generation of new technologies. Technical people who are knowledgeable of these concepts have a strong advantage over others who only know of the detail of their particular specialization. It enables a superior and more mature perspective of technology which is certainly needed for innovation, as well as for developing the new needed technical capabilities in the organization. For non-technical people in most businesses, an understanding of the concepts is needed in order to be able to properly interact with colleagues in product development, design, manufacturing, and R&D. Nowadays, with the emphasis on cross-functional working, this ability to interact is a powerful asset both for individuals as well as for the whole company.

Turning 'Theory' into 'Practice'?

All the concepts, models and tools are for practical application rather than being just “academic and theoretical”, and so will be illustrated by examples of practical cases. This will enable participants to apply the concepts to the products and technologies of their particular interest. It will help participants be more innovative, and achieve a higher success rate in bringing new developments profitably to the market.

Who should attend?

Managers: Technical, Marketing, and Business managers, Project leaders, Professionals in (or related to): R&D, New Product Development, Design

Key areas to be covered in the programme and documentation

Introduction to the topic
• What is “technology”?
• As a major differentiator?
• Needed to end world poverty?

The Classical Concepts and Tools
• Gestation times and Prior Art histories – and unexpected surprises
• Diffusion
• Multiple S Curves and position in the product architecture hierarchy
• Cyclic Models & Technology Platforms and the resulting dominant designs
• Discontinuities
• Overview of tools: Technology Strengths; Strategy based on Strength and Maturity
• Competitive Impact
Discussion: Besides the Technology in the product, what about Design Technology, Manufacturing Technology, IT – as differentiators? and do they need different management treatment?

Innovation and product development
• The 360° of technology: Disruptives/Radicals/Transfers
• Road Mapping, linear and lateral, “out of the box”
• Seed, Search & Feed models of how technology creates new products
• Exploratory Development model for rapid NPD
• The role of technology in “innovation”, including “reverse innovation”, “open innovation”, “frugal innovation”
• Design ↔ Technology.

The 3 paradoxes
• Success → Failure;
• Innovation → Stagnation;
• Low “attractiveness” but high importance.
Discussion: Disruptives – your opportunity? – but some businesses did not even try to negotiate the discontinuity – and so died.

Management – issues and implementation
• Unfulfilled expectations and disappointments, some examples and why ?
• New? – be extra careful! – and regard Reliability Growth
• The technical community in the company – influence and communication to the non-technical.
The many state of the art changes over the past years are still diffusing – their significance, and where is a company like yours positioned? For example, the progressive horizontal integration of industry means “owning” the technology may be less of a differentiator. Also, the renaissance of R&D and NPD means that some companies are now expertly sophisticated in R&D and NPD, and even some “good companies” are not: etc.
Discussion: “Good Companies” and “Good and more Sophisticated Companies”

Setting the Management Objectives
• The “R&D and NPD mismatch” – in some companies and countries: Why? And how it results in poor success of bringing technology to the market. What are the remedies?
• What are the technology management objectives for a company like yours? For example, guaranteeing timely availability of enabling technology for NPD? Keeping appropriately positioned as “leader”, or “in the pack’, or “fast follower”? Attack/defend? Guard & develop Intellectual Property and “right to use” assets? Technical Community Issues? etc.
• What is the good Practice for implementing the above objectives of Management of Technology for a company like yours? Maybe working from first principles rather than from “generalized rules”? Are there “Magic Bullet Methods”? Is every case unique?

The need is to iterate with business & product strategy, and underpin by risk management. But if you accept risk, are you actually prepared for that worst event? Scenario Prediction Building and comparative studies of them, likely/unlikely; Best/worst cases; etc.

The practical case examples will be chosen to best suit the participants.
These usually include electronics like mobile phones, laptops, I-pads, led lighting, TV, inkjet printing, “digital revolution”, semi-conductors, lasers, sensors, multiplexing, and Kodak; Dyson, Lytro camera, nuclear power, medical technology like dental implants, eye lens implants, stents, and “lab on a chip”; fiber optics, engines, pumps, transport, 3D printing, Segway, BMW & Piaggio safety motorbikes, climate change % energy.

Benefits to you

You will acquire new knowledge and tools as below to put you and your organization at a competitive advantage.
• A fundamental understanding of the nature of technology
• Technology concepts, models, and management tools
• The various categories of technology and their different significances
• The various different routes for technologies to become incorporated in new products and services
• The role of technology in “innovation”, including “reverse innovation”, “open innovation”, “frugal innovation”, etc.
• The technology management objectives for companies and their fulfillment
• Managing and reducing technology risks

Companies already benefiting include:

Duration of Course

2 Day Course

Course details

This course is currently only available as an in-house option. For more information, and a quote, contact our team on +44 (0)20 3002 3057, or by email at

Looking to train larger teams in this subject?

dzingim@marcusevansuk.comTailored in-house/in-company training courses and bespoke strategy workshops designed and delivered on-site throughout Europe according to your specific requirements.

All management, personal development and project management public courses featured in our Course Directory are also delivered on an In-Company basis.

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Further information

UK Enquiries: +44 (0) 203 002 3057

Non-UK Enquiries: +420 (0)2 5570 7246

North American Enquiries: +1 312 540 3000 X6714 or - Marketing Manager EMEA - Professional Training

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"This course will allow my company to develop its existing strategies to a much greater and hopefully profitable level."

Managing Director, Tarmac