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Forecasting and Management of Technology, Second Edition by Frederick A. Rossini, Scott W. Cunningham, Jerry Banks, Alan L. Porter, Alan Thomas Roper, Thomas W. Mason

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9.4 Impact Identification

What may impact the development of the technology? What will be the outcomes? What outcomes does the development of the technology lead to? These are the questions to be answered in impact identification. There are two major approaches to impact identification, scanning and tracing. They are complementary, and both typically will be useful in a forecast. Both begin from the TDS.

Scanning is a broad-brush approach to quickly identify all possible impacts flowing from or to the TDS. Tracing considers causal relationships between development actions and their impacts—their effects. This process creates a causal trail from developments to outcomes that may go through multiple steps or stages.

9.4.1 Scanning Techniques

Scanning methods search the impact field to minimize the probability that significant impacts will be overlooked. The simplest approach is to make a checklist of all candidate impact areas (Section 4.3.3). This list may be brief and at a high level of abstraction or highly detailed and concrete. Another possibility is to list all the parties affected by the development. Either list can be a starting point for identifying impacts. Combining these approaches produces a two-dimensional matrix with impact areas on one axis and stakeholders on the other. Some cells of the matrix may contain no impacts, while others may contain multiple impacts. It may prove useful and convenient to separate the identification of impacts on technology and impacts of ...

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