An integrative approach to disruptive technology forecasting in companies
This chapter presents an integrative approach to disruptive technology forecasting based on technology roadmapping and indicator-based forecasting. We discuss our experiences with the approach in the case of two disruptive technology projects in two firms.Our basic proposition is that roadmapping disruptive technological progress is a process with three principal functions: information analysis, strategic anticipation and decision-making. We propose a six-step process to accomplish these functions. Database analysis is combined with expert judgement to provide the status quo of the technology field under study. The contexts of possible future applications are developed jointly by managers and technology experts. Finally, alternative strategies toward the future application contexts are constructed.The approach helps to structure the disruptive innovation process. Information from different sources can be combined and strategies documented for planning further actions. The joint imagining of possible future application contexts leads to a shared understanding among technology experts and managers. Strategic anticipation and thinking in alternatives was stimulated, especially when critical events were included in the discussion. Finally, additional valuable information on the scientific bases of the technologies was generated.