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Product and Technology Roadmapping

Upcoming events

  1. Leading Transformation: Steering Versus Being Steered

    Conference: Jan 21 - 21 / Eaglewood Resort, Chicago IL

MRT News & Updates

Healthcare Product Innovation and The Internet of Things – Opportunities, Challenges and Future Directions

Management Roundtable recently co-facilitated a virtual Think Tank on digital innovation for healthcare, Leveraging the Internet of Things to Improve Patient Outcomes, in partnership with Convetit and Benefunder. 

This was a fascinating exchange of insights and points of view on how the Internet of Things (IoT), including wearables, monitoring devices, and sensors, combined with genomics, personalized medicine, and data analytics are creating a Brave New World that will redefine healthcare as we know it. Indeed, the market segment is projected to soar to $117B by 2020, and the technological possibilities seem limitless.

What does all this mean for producers and providers of healthcare products and services?  Clearly it will require fast adaptation both within and between organizations. This Think Tank brought together some of the brightest minds in healthcare and IoT to explore what adaptations will be most important.

As is usually the case with breakthrough technologies, much of the change is cultural. ‘Radical collaboration’ including non-traditional partners -- with different incentives and financial models -- will better enable these technologies to work together seamlessly. Focusing on the needs and well-being of the patient is paramount. Data security, quality, integrity and flow are other key drivers.  

Most envision a future where the Internet of Things will enable those without easy access to healthcare to receive remote support, where collective findings will advance medical research, and where overall patient outcomes are improved. The concern is that economics, politics, and egos could get in the way of meaningful progress. 

The Think Tank group posed ideas to overcome the challenges as well as examples of new models that appear to be working. If you would like to receive the summary infographic, please email

Strategic Planning for products and technology - how roadmaps ensure innovation and corporate growth

Does your organization have a clear innovation strategy that is understood and supported at all levels? Do you know where to focus R&D resources?  Where the market is headed, what your best opportunities are, and what disruptions are possible?

If you want to gain more control over your innovation future, one of the most powerful strategic planning tools is roadmapping -- in particular landscape maps and route maps.

Landscape maps link together market and technology factors, business drivers, capabilities and competitors. Route maps tell you what to do. Dr. Jay Paap has developed a proprietary framework around these maps and has helped many leading companies implement -- with significant results.

For a brief overview and visual picture of Landscape, Route Maps and Dr. Paap's framework, click here. For details on the next Roadmapping workshop to be led by Dr. Paap on February 24-25, 2016 in the Los Angeles area, click here.

Smart Connected Products Meet Lean Start-up: GE’s Imagination Really is at Work!

While General Electric has been around forever, the company certainly doesn’t rest on its laurels.One of GE’s most impressive new innovations is its FirstBuild Microfactory in Louisville, Kentucky. The idea is to rapidly prototype next-generation home appliances and market test them before scaling up. Using 3D printing and related technologies while offering an incubator of sorts to inventors, entrepreneurs and students, FirstBuild combines the best of ‘Lean Start-Up’ with IoT. The result? Some winners, some failures – but all pretty darn smart.



Can millennials help predict the future of corporate innovation? Management Roundtable and MindSumo launch a challenge to find out

We often hear our customers talk about crowdsourcing to find the ‘next big thing,’ so when we were offered the opportunity to tap the minds of bright college students, how could we say no?  

Unlike many challenges, however, the one we just launched in partnership with MindSumo is not to come up with new product ideas (though that would have been good, too). We set a somewhat loftier goal -- to predict the future of corporate innovation.  

Read more > 

Leading Transformative Innovation – Inspiring People to Achieve Their Best

An exclusive interview with Jean E. Spence
Former Executive Vice President, Research Development & Quality, Mondelez International, Inc. (formerly Kraft Foods, Inc.)

Most firms today have had to change their game to compete.  The economy, industry fragmentation, increasing cost of goods, consumer price-shopping, the Internet, globalization – the list of reasons goes on.  While everyone talks about innovation, the reality is that pressure is even higher to improve profit margins and productivity.  As a result, many organizations have been restructuring to boost ROI.  Often this means cuts, which can actually inhibit the creativity required to fuel growth.

Under such circumstances, how do you lead people to do their best?  Especially when you lead R&D – which is often viewed as a cost center, yet expected to innovate new products and technologies.

To find out, we talked with Jean Spence. Jean was a senior leader at Kraft Foods’ restructuring, three-year turnaround, and Organizing for Growth (OFG) initiative.  She then went on to lead innovation and collaboration initiatives at Mondelez International, the remaining company after the Kraft Foods spinoff. Jean was a key member of the executive team that spearheaded both the people and product side of Kraft’s major transformation.  If anybody could speak to the implementation challenges and success factors, it is Jean.

Here is what she shared >


Open Innovation -- Growth Engine or Resource Drain?

Does Open Innovation really pay off for firms?  Who's getting the most bang for their buck - and how are they doing it?  One of the foremost experts on Open Innovation, Dr. Gene Slowinski has seen the good, the bad, and the ugly of strategic alliances for over 25 years. His advice: Go for alliances that shake up an industry.  It is too easy to underestimate resources and end up spending more than planned without much return. Far better to do a few powerful deals than many which are  marginal. For quick tips on generating profitable growth through Open Innovation, check out our FREE article  Making Open Innovation Alliances Pay Off: 5 Keys to Success.  

Are Your Innovation Investments Paying Back?

Perhaps you're not measuring and managing the right things. If your company is still caught up in the decades-old "sales % from new products" quagmire, you need better metrics. What's wrong with "sales % from new products" as a measure of innovation? The same thing that is wrong with pushing R&D investments down to whatever projects barely clear the hurdle of "new product" and the same thing that is wrong with killing a product that owns the market and has a ridiculously high margin. The popular, but misguided "sales % of new products" drives both of these negative behaviors and reduces your R&D return on investment. 

  • A metric such as "margin growth over sales growth" backed by the following measurable actions including:
  • Patent or idea diffusion (not the number of patents, but how good they are)
  • Portfolio balance based on cash flow and payback 
  • Portfolio rate of return 
  • Customer value to feature match 
  • Early phase research decision autonomy

will drive better returns on your innovation investment. Check out Dr. Robert Tucker's tips on improving innovation metrics.

Tech Scouting & Open Innovation: Practices of Industry Leaders - Free Download

How are companies such as Procter & Gamble, Unilever, GE, GlaxoSmithKline, Kraft, Monsanto, Corning and other global leaders innovating new products, expanding boundaries and growing their businesses? How do they choose their scouts, their partners, and the best opportunities?  For an overview, please download our recent research on the top practices.

Voice of the Customer Research Technique that Works (Free Download)

Visiting customers can be a very effective way to gain insights that can help differentiate your product in the marketplace by discovering unmet customer needs that your next release can help address. However, it is important to conduct customer visits properly. Dr. Ed McQuarrie author of Customer Visits offers 16 tips to make your customer visits as effective as possible in this free download.

Are You Actively Monitoring More than 5 Metrics?

If so, you could be wasting time and money. According to Wayne Mackey, impractical and inefficient metrics detract from work and waste time by becoming ends in themselves. A metrics program should include only the “critical few,” says Mackey. To read more click here. [requires brief site registration or FastTrack Membership]

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