Last month at a customer session with partner and roadmapping guru Russ Martinelli from Trendscape Innovation Group the group discussed common innovation challenges and strategic roadmapping techniques that have been successfully used in the high-tech space to break the iterative innovation cycle, enabling strategic thinkers to envision breakthrough innovation opportunities through the lens of market insights and user experience.

A common problem identified was that most organizations face a big divide between the technology side of the house and the product side of the house – also known as the “valley of death” – where the technology transfer to the product side is hazardous and can be unsuccessful. The cure to this divide is portfolio analysis.

Many companies also have problems with “innovation blindness” – the inability to see how the future might unfold in a way that is different than the past. The old “Elephant and Blind Men” parable speaks to this, where your version of the truth may be valid but without the ability to see beyond your own version of the truth you may be missing the whole picture.

Russ talked about his organized approach to innovation blindness, which are the steps involved in strategic roadmapping (see figure below, compliments of Trendscape Innovation Group).

strategic roadmapping

While most large companies are already doing some form of strategic roadmapping, they just don’t have a formal technique or approach to doing it. They also struggle with communicating the decisions and lessons learned from the roadmapping to the rest of the company. Need help overcoming innovation blindness or putting the strategy back into roadmapping? Watch the recordings of the recent webinar series Break Through: Identify & Solve Future Problems End-Users Care About or contact Trendscape Innovation Group or Sopheon for consulting, software, and more.

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