FGI Consulting Services
STRATEGIC DEVELOPMENT & TECHNOLOGY MANAGEMENT
The Fusfeld Group, Inc.
15 Laverdure Circle
What Services Are Provided?
FGI consulting services assist management with issues of future R&D planning, technology forecasting, competitive intelligence, organizational effectiveness, R&D metrics, and technology transfer. For questions or more information about specific FGI consulting services, please use the Ask FGI form. Click here for descriptions of significant FGI consulting relationships.
We have unique resources in the experienced individuals who comprise the group, but we also have unique methods and techniques that bring FGI experience to bear more effectively upon your particular situation or problem. These methods and techniques include the following:
Technology planning frameworks leverage a concept called the technology planning matrix. This is a double matrix that first links technologies to products/services and second links these to markets.
Each cell in the technology planning matrix is called a technology planning unit which may also be thought of as the application of a core competency to a particular class of tasks. This easily provides a bridge between the inventory of core competencies and the technology strategy of the firm. Outside of the core technology planning units, the technology planning matrix identifes collateral technologies and collateral markets that represent either resources to be used strategically or targets of opportunity/threat.
Other techniques include Key Expert Panels for unique information gathering, the 'critical function' profiles that drive individuals and the innovation process, the 'black & white' theory of team building, stochastic methods for project valuation, R&D metrics, R&D portfolio methods, and 'anchored' audit scales.
Using FGI's specialized resources and techniques, there are a variety of assignments that we undertake.
1. we can audit and compare
2. we can assess and recommend
3. we can diagnose and prescribe
4. we can plan
5. we can link
6. we can build better teams
7. we can provide new systems
8. we can provide new ways of getting information
9. we can train
10. we can coach
In each assignment we provide a combination of experience and methodology that leverages the resources present in your own organization for quick results and high quality.
Often our assignments start in the form of questions that clients want help in answering.
The most common questions we are asked are grouped below by the two major categories defining our work: 'what R&D will be done?' and 'how well will the R&D be done?'.
Perhaps some of these are questions that you have.
"What R&D will be done?"
1. What are the future technologies that are critical to business success in the next two years?....the next three to five years?
2. Where do we stand in competency regarding these future technologies? What can we do to improve our critical technology competencies?
3. How adequate are our technology strategies and plans? (1-3yrs;2-8yrs)
4. Which technologies will form the next product platforms for renewing the business or generating new business?
5. What are our IT plans for improving R&D and business operations?
"How well will R&D be done?"
1. What are the procedures for ensuring product/system integrity?
2. What are the processes for product/system development, revision and technology transfer?
3. What is the development cycle time? How is it trending and why?
4. What sources should we be tapping to leverage external technology?
5. What are the investment and benefit metrics that describe our long term RD&E contributions?
6. What are the most suitable technology management programs (practices and tools)? How well are we performing with our practices and tools? What are we doing to measure their effectiveness and improve them?
7. How can we determine whether we are spending the right amount on our R&D portfolio and how can we evaluate whether we are getting an adequate return?
Technology Impact Assessment & Technology Planning: What technologies will impact us? When? What are our options?
We created "over the horizon" technology assessments and strategies for a major manufacturer as a critical input to strategy. These provide the client with well defined business technology evaluations based on 3-8 year forecasts. We defined the technology planning matrix to identify core technologies and intensively searched "emerging technologies and collateral industries" for threats and opportunities. Collaborations with the client staff were extensive and we facilitated major discussions and the implementation of new technology-based business strategies. (We also offer seminars on the principles and design of technology strategies, technology impact assessment and technology planning.)
Identifying New Growth Opportunities: How can we develop new businesses from our core technologies?
We conducted a series of Key Expert Panels in critical areas of emerging technology relevant to an industrial materials client. These panels were composed of 'expertise' gatekeepers that FGI carefully assembled from multiple disciplines who are usually part of international networks. FGI used the panels to provide structured brainstorming searches for the best development opportunities that could be based on current or acquired core competencies.
Key Expert Panels are beneficial for numerous reasons. First, they quickly combine the base of ideas from internal thinking with both the objectivity and creativity that comes from diverse backgrounds. Second, several firms are pursuing joint venture possibilities and specific technical investigations as a result of the contacts made at the Panels. Third, they provide a high value input to new directions or for 'second opinions' for critical technology strategies. Lastly, they are easy to organize and relatively inexpensive.
Leveraging Technology Competitive Intelligence for Growth: How can we take advantage of global R&D investments made by others?
FGI Associates have designed external competitive intelligence and technology acquisition programs. These have supported the clients' efforts in benchmarking, monitoring, and strategic development. FGI has integrated the use of other peoples' technology (OPT) with internal programs to produce more competitive technologies faster. FGI has also undertaken specific searches and monitoring actions. (We also provide workshops and seminars on technology competitive intelligence, benchmarking, and effective capturing or development of third party technology.)
Portfolio Management, R&D Metrics and Financial Modeling: Are we making the best choices and justifying them to the CEO's satisfaction?
We provided a portfolio system for several clients that can be easily updated to accommodate new information and mid-year changes. We focused on selection and justification of projects. FGI developed metrics and anchored scales based on our model of the clients' innovation processes. FGI used the anchored scales to gain inputs from all functions easily. We also designed a personal computer based tool for project and portfolio valuation based on a net present value (NPV) financial model that incorporates uncertainty. (Seminars are also offered on the related topics of R&D portfolios, R&D metrics, and R&D valuation.)
Improvement of Technology Transfer and Speed to Market: What can we do in the short term to improve R&D productivity?
For several clients we have focused on diagnosing ways to increase R&D productivity. This work has covered issues of technology transfer, R&D organization, procedures, staffing, and training. FGI provided our clients with an implementation plan with metrics to create an improved, high quality R&D group.
Critique of Current Technology Competitive Intelligence Programs
Coaching, counseling and critiquing services were provided to several clients who are in the process of developing an in-house business intelligence capability, to serve their internal business and R&D clients. As a result of such consultation, clients develop a better sense of their strengths and areas for improvements. In addition, conducting key executive interviews with their internal clients has resulted in the development of new "business" as well as new internal customers. Critiques also provide clients with insights into their unique competencies, which enable them to better "sell" their services within their organization.
Technology Advisory Board: How can we obtain high level external inputs?
For some clients it has been very useful to have an outside advisory board. We have benchmarked some of the best and have recommended both the process and specific individuals to be considered. We used teleconference benchmarking to save time and money on this project. FGI provided an implementation plan with guidelines for ongoing operations and metrics to determine effectiveness and when changes should be made.
In-House Seminars in Technology Management
one-two day tailored programs
8-20 participants ($500-1000 per)
1. Principles of R&D Management for the Non-Technical Manager
2. Principles of R&D Management (R&D view)
3. Principles of Innovation and Entrepreneurship (business view)
1. Discovering and Leveraging Your Core (Technical) Competencies
2. Developing and Enhancing Technology Strategies for Growth
3. Technology Planning and Integration with the Business
1. Effective Design of R&D Organizations
2. Improving Technology Transfer
3. Technology-Based Innovation - Managing All the Pieces
1. R&D Personalities: Critical Functions for Selection & Development
2. Time Management for the R&D Professional
3. R&D Leadership
1. Technology Competitive Intelligence/Intellectual Property
2. R&D Metrics and Measurement
3. Project Management
The Fusfeld Group: Where your future is our business!