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Innovation Roadmapping

Roadmapping is vital for realizing innovation.


Ventana Research believes the innovation business process depends on three process phases: generating, converting and realizing innovation. Of these, it is realizing innovation that ensures optimal commercial value is derived from every innovation. Roadmapping, as a process and technology, is key to raising business performance from realizing innovation value in the marketplace.


A roadmap is a visual representation of a sequence of steps along a timeline that depends on a roadmapping process to capture and organize the information and knowledge represented on the roadmap. A roadmap always has a specific theme represented along a given timeline and usually presents a multi-layered view of that theme — for example, a generic roadmap template might consist of:

  • a timeline (know-when), e.g. a 2-5 year deliverable lifecycle
  • a purpose layer (know-why), e.g. business or market objectives
  • a delivery layer (know-what), e.g. a product or service deliverable
  • a resources layer (know-how), e.g. technology or competency support

Links exist between the steps within a roadmap layer, between steps across roadmap layers and between roadmap steps and other information entities “submerged” within the roadmap logic. For example, a roadmap step may be linked to a project plan or an engineering diagram, which in turn is held in a separate project management or CAD application. Because a roadmap may represent objectives or activities that cross business units or even organizational boundaries, it must support a collaborative process and technology.

Clearly, the roadmapping process, supported by roadmapping technology such as Alignent’s Vision Strategist, is an ideal way to plan and progress an innovation performance management initiative. It is also an important way of improving the performance during the realizing innovation phase, especially for creating market assets based on product or service deliverables. This is because it maps the deliverables created by the converting innovation phase into a realization process that recognizes business/market objectives, reflects the ongoing future development of deliverable assets and respects the resource demands this realization process may put on the organization.


Ventana Research recommends that organizations looking to implement an IPM initiative or improve their innovation realization capability consider adding roadmapping, the process and technology, to their portfolio of techniques and tools.

Stewart McKie is European Analyst Director at Ventana Research.

Ventana Research is the preeminent research and advisory services firm helping our clients maximize stakeholder value with Performance Management throughout their organizations. Putting research in a business and IT context we provide insight and education on the best practices, methodologies and technologies that enable our clients to leverage assets to understand, optimize, and align strategies and processes to meet their goals and objectives.

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