A Methodology for Evaluating Technology Readiness during Product Development

DS 58-3: Proceedings of ICED 09, the 17th International Conference on Engineering Design, Vol. 3, Design Organization and Management, Palo Alto, CA, USA, 24.-27.08.2009

Year: 2009
Editor: Norell Bergendahl, M.; Grimheden, M.; Leifer, L.; Skogstad, P.; Lindemann, U.
Author: Hicks, Ben James; Culley, Steve; Larsson, Andreas; Larsson, Tobias
Series: ICED
Section: Design Organization and Management
Page(s): 157-168


In today's highly competitive global markets, where products are driven by rapidly advancing technologies and the ever-increasing expectations of the customer, methods for identifying new technologies and assessing their suitability and readiness within the context of product development are essential. Despite this there are few supportive techniques available with the exception of the nine Technology Readiness Levels developed by NASA. However, the generality and suitability of these are limited for the purpose of product design and development. To address this, the NASA model has been critically appraised and its generality enhanced. The more general model has also been extended to consider the technology lifecycle (refinement and development), multi-tech products and the criticality of each technology. The extended model of the Technology Readiness Level of the Product is then contextualized with respect to the product development process in order to provide a methodology for assessing the Product Readiness Levels (PRL). The paper describes the key stages of methodology development and illustrates the approach through consideration of the case of Liquid Crystal Displays (LCD).

Keywords: technology management, technology lifecycles, product development, product design


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