Studies at TIG on the dynamics of technology development

Photonics Spectra, November, 1997
"Tracking this (technology) progress can be used to advantage in many ways. The most obvious is its use in so-called concurrent development. In this approach the company can build production facilities and launch market initiatives before the development program is complete. By providing an objective measure of progress, projections into the future can be made with more confidence than with the usual, 'Trust me, it's fine' from the engineering manager."

Photonics Spectra, October, 1997
"To analyze a program's progress, participants must keep detailed records of key performance parameters that reflect the program objectives. Studies that have been carried out at Sylvania and elsewhere show that these parameters, if plotted into graphs, display behavior patterns that are similar across the breadth of programs, even in very different technologies. When considering the complete data of a development program, the early stages are fraught with large fluctuations in performance with no sign of systematic improvement. This irregular performance usually does not show up in publicly accessible data, where only the best results are presented. When progress does begin to appear, it begins slowly and then accelerates. The fluctuations still occur and, in fact, increase in scale, but the average performance also increases. You are on your way!"

Photonics Spectra, July, 1997
" 'Innovation is not something you can plot on a PERT chart,' explained Tim Fohl, president of the Technology Integration Group, Inc. of Carlisle, which specializes in bringing together technology sources and needs in the fields of light and optics...In a traditional research/commercial relationship, marketing of a technology would have to wait until after the program is complete--which could take two or three years--or would have to rely on the research managers for an estimate of the program completion....Tracking technology using Fohl's theory would allow everyone to see the innovation process firsthand, saving time and money in manufacturing and commercialization phases."

Wall Street Journal, March 28, 1997
from a Frontlines Column about scientific methods of forecasting technology and markets
" 'Researchers have a proud tradition of resisting such (scheduling) demands, claiming that no one can schedule invention.' But Dr. Fohl began to wonder.... Dr. Fohl saw something different when he examined many development programs from inception to old age. ... technologies first advanced slowly and then erupted--like water at the boiling point. After their explosive period, they returned to a slow advance. In other words, their progress followed a clear S curve."

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Studies at TIG on the dynamics of technology development

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