What is Technology Management? Part 2

In a previous article I covered the Kearns Six Facet Model as a way to understand what technology management is all about. Universities with technology management programs also offer definitions, including these from the South Dakota School of Mines & Technology, the University of Stuttgart in Germany, and the University of Trieste in Italy.

South Dakota School of Mines & Technology – Technology management as a hybridized curriculum of management science, operations research, and MBA. Stuart Kellogg (the original guy who got me interested in this subject!) characterizes technology management in terms of three axes: interpersonal and team skills, applications, and theory. He describes the model at http://graded.sdsmt.edu/academics/programs/tm/:

An individual with a background in business administration is likely to be very good at managing resources, developing budgets, and implementing decisions based on sound economics. However, many do not have the necessary background in the appropriate technology or the quantitative decision tools necessary to effectively manage that technology.

An individual specializing in operations research will almost certainly have the background necessary to model systems and develop quantitative decision tools needed to manage that system. However, they may not have the management or business background necessary to effectively implement a solution to a problem. Management science attempts to apply the quantitative decision tools developed in operations research in an industrial or business environment. As such, it is more applications and modeling oriented. However, managers with a strong background in management science may lack of the business tools and supervisory skills necessary for today’s business climate.

Technology Management is an attempt to effectively integrate decision theory with business, management, and organizational skills necessary to effectively manage in today’s business environment. Because of this integration, technology management programs remain popular with corporations operating in a technical or global environment.

University of Stuttgart – Technology management as integrated planning, design, and optimization. The University of Stuttgart says that technology management “comprises the integrated planning, design, and optimization of technical products and processes under consideration of human factors, organizational aspects, technological solutions, and the environment.”

University of Trieste – Technology management is the effective management of technological change. The University of Trieste defines technology management as “the effective management of technological change… in order to survive, an organization must change its offering and how it creates and delivers it [innovation], and do so on a continuing basis.” The process of technology management includes: scanning the environment for signals (e.g. identifying strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats – SWOT), acquiring technology, implementing technology, and review, learning and feedback.

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