“The CFO’s Guide to Roadmapping” examines the important issue of how the CFO can add discipline to the R&D process, especially in highly innovative industries, and use Technology Roadmaps to better identify the link between risk, investment, and spending. Technology Roadmaps are documents that can be used as a reference point when choosing and managing R&D projects. They provide an overview of the future needs and technical challenges facing an industry and outline possible solutions. This report draws on a case study of the semiconductor industry to help improve executives’ knowledge of Technology Roadmaps.
The choice of appropriate R&D projects is highly interdependent on the future strategy of an industry. CFOs can use the information in the Technology Roadmap to evaluate their firm’s project appraisal process and consider if it gives a clear picture of the risks. The Technology Roadmap provides a basis for:
- Engaging other C-suite executives in conversation about how a business’s strategy aligns with industry forecasts
- Rebalancing investment strategies by signaling to firms which projects are high risk and those that are lower risk
- Validating the firm’s strategy with less effort
- Increasing collaboration through multi-agency R&D initiatives and achieving conjoint Technical and cost targets that support growth and development of the industry
- Helping to identify the likelihood of various R&D outcomes and the risks that could affect the achievement of those outcomes
- Accelerating the “time to market” of new products