**2.6 Technological Forecasting***

Technological Forecasting is defined as a process of predicting future characteristics and timing of technology. As the rate of change of technological capabilities are uncertain, It is imperative that project mangers use some methods to forecast future technology so that the project product that is developed using current technologies is not rendered obsolete. Two types of methods can be used for forecasting technology: Numeric-based Technological Forecasting Techniques and Judgment-based Technological Forecasting Techniques.

#### Numeric-Based Technological Forecasting Techniques

Numeric-based technological forecasting techniques include:

**Trend extrapolation**that projects trend of data into the future**Growth curves**include invention, introduction and innovation, diffusion and growth, and maturity**Envelope curves**are a combination of trend extrapolation and growth curves**Substitution model**considers competing technologies developing over time

#### Judgment-Based Technological Forecasting Techniques

Judgment-based Technological Forecasting Techniques include:

**Monitoring**is to track innovation to stay abreast of developing technologies**Network analysis**- Explores applications of current research
- Determines how much research is needed to arrive at desired capability.

**Scenarios**- Forecast technology along with environment
- Can be used to forecast results of adopting a technological change

**Morphological analysis**- Systematically search for improvements in technology
- Plot technology vs. alternatives to achieve the technology

**Relevance trees**look at a goal through a hierarchy of alternative tasks**Delphi****method**- Individuals in a group make anonymous estimates of when technology will be available
- Results fed back to the group and the process goes through a few iterations

**Cross-impact analysis**is like the Delphi method, but model is stochastic

The particular model to be used should be appropriate for the environment of the firm and at a suitable cost.

You have now reached the end of Lesson 2. You should have a better understanding of forecasting and the forecasting methods available to you as a project manager. You should also have completed your reading assignment as specified on your syllabus. At this time, return to your syllabus and complete any activities for this lesson. The next lesson will focus on cost estimation in project, including methods to ensure cost control.

**Please Note:** Section 2.6 was adapted from Meredith, J. R., and Mantel, S. J. (1989). *Project Management: A Managerial Approach.* 2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons.

#### References

**For Advanced Readers in Statistics:**

Draper, N. R., and Smith, H. (1998).*Applied Regression Analysis*. 3rd Edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons.**For Beginners in Statistics:**Levine, D. M., Stephan, D., Krehbiel, T. C., and Berenson, M. L. (2005).

*Statistics for Managers using Microsoft Excel*. 4th Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall.- Meredith, J. R., and Mantel, S. J. (1989).
*Project Management: A Managerial Approach.*2nd Edition. New York: John Wiley and Sons. - Stevenson, W. J. (2005).
*Operations Management.*8th Edition. New York: McGraw-Hill/Irwin, p. 80.