Developing a Field of Science to Interface With Technologies
Technology is the collective term for various sciences and skills, most often used to refer to the tools and techniques used in the development of new products or services. Often, people are blind to the scope and depth of technology. Unfortunately, this ignorance can be costly. The cost, for example, of a failure to acknowledge and implement adequate technological planning can cost the company thousands of dollars per year. The best way to avoid the high costs and risks is to learn about the technology field. In other words, a company must educate itself about the key characteristics of technological systems so that it can set strategic plans and establish an effective management framework.
There are three main types of technologies: biological, chemical, and electrical. Biological technologies deal with living organisms and their development. Chemical technologies deal with processes that transform substances into useful energy or other forms of energy. Electrical technologies deal with systems and components that interact to produce electricity.
A company’s strategy should include establishing a framework for scientific research and the development of new technologies. This includes defining the field of science and focusing on specific areas. Companies should encourage vigorous debate within the organization over which technologies are important and how to fund the research and development of those technologies. Such debate and commitment to the discipline will help overcome the inertia created by inexperience and will drive the company forward.
Early in the process of implementation, companies should establish clear roles and responsibilities for the different disciplines. These responsibilities should be clarified in an operating agreement between management and the various disciplines to ensure that each understands his or her role and has a meaningful impact on the technologies. The relationship between management and engineers should also be clarified. Clarifying roles and responsibilities and providing management with guidance and support during implementation will help achieve long-term success.
Developing a budget for technology implementation is necessary for both the budgeting process and the identification of budgetary expenditures. A budget must be developed that is based on the science project requirements and that will result in a long-term financial return. The budget must also be able to adjust as the technology is implemented. If the budgeted amount for a technology becomes too high, management can cut back on the selected technology or explore other options that generate a similar or better return.
It is important to determine the appropriate scope of a science project; that is, whether it will address a problem in a specific area or whether it will investigate all aspects of the scientific method. This is where the organizational chart comes into play. Each department, such as management, engineering, and physics should have its own “level of competence” when considering technologies in development.