UCL Centre for Systems Engineering


Technology Planning and Decision Making

Technology maturity, Technology roadmapping, Scenario planning, Game theory for technology development, Technology valuation, Technology acquisition and development decisions

We have developed a process to manage the full range of activities required to plan the introduction of a new technology.

Technology Planning Journey

Starting with a strategic appraisal of the future state of the world the technology is expected to operate in through scenario planning, we next create a roadmap of the opportunities available. The potential technology options are compared through trade studies, before revisiting the roadmap with a view to implementing the technologies preferred in the trade studies. The final stage is to optimise the project that delivers the technology by considering the most appropriate resource profile given the risk of the project and other factors.

This approach was developed in a three-year research project sponsored by EPSRC, the DTI, GlaxoSmithKline, and Syngenta, which analysed the instrumentation supply chain from two different perspectives.

Consultancy projects in this area have been performed with GlaxoSmithKline and the Photonics Knowledge Transfer Network.

The research on this was awarded the prize for the most novel use of systems engineering in the 2006 European Systems Engineering Conference.

Our Research Projects

Thesis: Modelling of Organizational Decision Making Process with Consideration of Human Factors


Muhammad Fahmi Ibrahim


Organizational decision making process has largely been supported by systematic and rational methods. However, studies have shown that human factors in organizational settings have an influence in the decision making process, which somehow altered the intended outcome of the decision made. This thesis aims to quantify and model the contribution of organizational behaviours in organizational decision making process using systems engineering principles.
Organizational behaviours, especially group dynamics, play important roles in organizational decision making. Behaviours such as groupthink and group cohesiveness, together with personality traits such as self-efficacy and risk-taking among different age, culture and, hierarchical groups may influence the outcome of a decision. Different group dynamics can produce different decision outcomes even though they all start with the same strategic decision. Therefore, it is crucial to model these factors into decision making processes so that the computed decisions can reflect the organic component of decision making.
Organizational decision making process model can be developed using systems engineering principles which incorporates organizational behaviour variables. Organizational strategic decisions can be analysed using requirement analysis to derive strategic requirements; which is then fed into the decision making process as quantitative inputs. The decision making and the operational processes are modelled using system architecture design framework. The model takes organizational behaviour variables as inputs to capture the human factors in decision making.