On self-facilitating templates for technology and innovation strategy workshops

Robert Phaal, University of Cambridge

Clive Kerr, University of Cambridge

Imoh Ilevbare, University of Cambridge

Clare Farrukh, University of Cambridge

Michèle Routley, IfM ECS

Nikoletta Athanassopoulou, IfM ECS


Aligning technology and other functional perspectives for innovation and strategy is challenging. This is compounded by communication barriers arising from high levels of complexity, uncertainty and ambiguity associated with technologically intensive innovation. Conceptual frameworks, tools and methods such as roadmapping, portfolio matrices and scenario planning are used to support the management of technology and innovation activities. These often have a strong visual aspect that helps to address the issues of dialogue exchange and interaction. From a visualisation perspective, roadmapping is of particular interest given its prominence as a flexible method and highly visual tool. This paper focuses on the mediating role that structured roadmapping templates have during interactive strategy workshops. A quasi-experiment comparing the performance of two templates is reported, comparing a ‘classic’ format with a new template that was designed to be ‘selffacilitating’. This new template incorporates guidance that a facilitator would normally provide, in order to minimise intervention and empower groups to organise their own strategic discussions. The new template is shown to perform significantly better in terms of completeness, consistency, quality and ease of use.


Keywords: Roadmapping, strategy, innovation, templates, visualisation


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