Whenever a brand new
solution is proposed to solve a problem, we are faced with making
decisions based on an assessment of risks and potential rewards.
How can we manage risk, yet be open to those brilliant
- Should we take the incremental approach, or should we fund the flyer?
- Will it change the whole paradigm or fall flat on its face?
- The advocates of this technology paint a glowing picture, but where does it actually stand on the Lab-to-Life Line?
- What will it really take to bring it to production?
- Does it have crucial gaps or insoluble shortcomings?
- Which approach has the best chance of success?
- How could a team be put together that will really make it fly?
New technologies are particularly difficult to evaluate precisely because they have no track record.
How can you evaluate commercial feasibility for a technology that is little more than a gleam in eye?
But you can determine where it really is on the development line from Lab-to-Life
You can identify the critical steps needed to bring it to production, and assess the risks associated with each of them
You can determine whether or not it could fit into production or repair
This means that you can make a reasoned choice between approaches that gives you the best chance of success while giving you the information you need to manage the risk.
To Rowan, evaluating a technology is not simply a matter of poring over technical papers and patents.
It involves looking carefully at where that technology is to be used, and that means talking to the folks who will be on the front lines of implementing it.
The greatest ideas can die on the cold, hard reality of the flight line or the shop floor, but if you consider the needs of the end user at the beginning of development you may also find the path to bring
innovation to production.