Systemic Innovation:

Technology Strategy

Enterprise Survey & Technology Auditing

Partially adapted from "Guidelines on Technology Management by SMEs", by International Centre for Science and High Technology (ICS)

Technology Auditing Survey Table        Recommendations

The purpose of technology auditing is to increase the general awareness of the need to design a technology plan and to improve the management of technology capability of the enterprise within all divisions i.e. R&D, marketing, production, finance and general management.

It has frequently been commented that a prominent problem in technology management is the absence of communication between different corporate functions: a collaborative divisional interaction is vital. This instrument assesses general information to complement the auditing process.

Technology auditing calls for participation of both top management and staff related to technology. The process should begin with an introduction of mechanisms for identification of technology needs. This can then be followed by questionnaires, to be completed by participants through the grading of each statement from 1 (low) to 10 (high) compared to the actual situation of the enterprise. The next step requires groups of 5 or 6 to be formed, to discuss individual results and identify strengths and weaknesses.

Technological auditing is an important precondition to being able to formulate a technology strategy plan. Its objective is to evaluate how efficiently the enterprise is using technology as a technological competitiveness instrument.

The final result of the technological auditing gives photography of the actual situation of the enterprise in relation to its ability to utilize its technological potential as an instrument for achieving its strategic objectives.

Technology Auditing Survey for a High-Tech Enterprise

Statements

Grading

People, in general, will support the necessary changes that will have to be made to implement a better management of technology

 

Top management demands information about the  status of the main technological projects at least twice a year

 

Different divisions of the enterprise understand clearly the relevance of technology for competitiveness

 

The enterprise strategy is clearly defined

 

Technological activities are consistent with the enterprise's overall strategy

 

The technology sources utilized (internal R&D, licensing, R&D contracting, joint ventures, research consortia) are consistent with the deadlines demanded by the strategic guidelines

 

There is a clear identification of the strategic technological areas

 

There is a clear definition about the strengths and weaknesses of the enterprise regarding the strategic technological areas

 

There is an adequate balance between short- and long-term orientation in technological projects

 

There is an adequate level of consensus regarding the trends of the life-cycle of the strategic technologies for the enterprise

 

The authority and responsibilities of the project managers are clearly defined and they are adequate to the needs of the enterprise

 

There is sufficient information about the status of each project regarding budgets and deadlines

 

The enterprise protects its intellectual property when necessary

 

There is an adequate evaluation system to assess the contribution of technology to the enterprise goals

 

There is an adequate monitoring and information system for identifying technological threats and opportunities

 

There is adequate integration between the several areas of the enterprise regarding innovation of products and processes

 

There is an adequate use of technological strategic alliances

 

There is adequate information about research teams in universities and research institutes developing activities related to the enterprise's strategic technologies

 

The R&D budget in percentage of the total sales is consistent with the expenditures of the competitors

 

Agreement with the statement regarding the actual situation of the enterprise:

Low=0   (the statement does not apply to the enterprise)

High=10 (the statement mirrors the status of the enterprise)

Technology projects include engineering projects, development projects, continuous improvement of products and production processes, etc.

 

 

Recommendations

Technology auditing is an important stage in developing a strategy plan of technology. The objective is to evaluate how much the firm is really using technology as an instrument for technological competitiveness. The final products of technological auditing are recommendations and a photograph of the current situation of the firm related to its technological potential as an instrument in achieving its objectives.

The effective use of technological auditing depends on some requirements:

  • top management support and participation;

  • task force to co-ordinate the process - comprising personnel from the various company areas;

  • appointment of a co-ordinator to apply the methodology plus assistance of a trained consultant;

  • guarantee of the implementation of the recommendations of the technological auditing that contribute to the firm's success;

  • repetition of the process regularly;

  • avoidance of the use of very complex tools these can obstruct the process. A result with imperfections is preferable to an endless process that does not reach a conclusion; and

  • adaptation of the methodology to the specific case of each company.