NASA’s 20-year Technology Roadmap

Dateline: May 29, 2015

Welcome to our Friday WRAP – one thought-provoking idea to think about over the weekend.

Recently NASA released it’s technology roadmap for space exploration for the next 20 years.  While most of us have difficulty putting together plans for 5 years, NASA must plan that far out in order to create the future.

Roadmaps are a set of documents that consider a wide range of needed technology candidates and development pathways for the next 20 years (2015-2035). The roadmaps focus on applied research and development activities.

The Technology Roadmaps are part of the broader strategic technology plan from the Office of the Chief Technologist.  Their website states,

The roadmaps are a foundational element of the Strategic Technology Investment Plan (STIP), an actionable plan that lays out the strategy for developing technologies essential to the pursuit of NASA’s mission and achievement of National goals. The STIP prioritizes the technology candidates within the roadmaps and provides guiding principles for technology investment. The recommendations provided by the National Research Council heavily influence NASA’s technology prioritization.

While the technologies listed in the roadmaps are interesting in and of themselves for techies like us, what’s more interesting to me is the process of laying out a 20 technology plan.  CIOs and Tech leaders know that we have to plan ahead, even when we don’t know the exact technologies that will be available to us.  But in NASA’s case, this 20 plan not only sets the ground work for what NASA will spend resources developing, but it gives all of us a peek at what we might count on seeing over this same time period.  It gives us input for our own roadmap.  And having a roadmap is imperative to getting to the future we plan.  Without a roadmap, any avenue is a possibility.

Do you have a technology roadmap for your organization?  How far out does it project?  What does your technology roadmap look like?

That’s a WRAP!  Have a wonderful weekend.

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