How to configure your Tech Radar

The pace of technological change and abundance of information out there, make it difficult for companies to keep up and maintain a competitive edge. The ITONICS Radar is designed to address this problem.

 Teams can use it to organize complex information, rate new technologies collaboratively, and make informed decisions. Follow these steps to configure the Radar to suit your needs and show the information that matters:

  1. Set the Distance dimension to communicate relative importance

    Each dot represents a technology. These move to a position between the center and edge of the Radar based on what you set the Distance dimension to. For instance, if Distance is set to Potential Impact, technologies with a ‘Very High’ rating will be closest to the center. Think of an air traffic controller that sees the airplanes nearest to the center of their radar display as needing urgent attention and, therefore, most important. Click the gear icon, configure your technology Radar in the same way by setting the Distance dimension to properties such as Need for action, Potential Impact or Technology Attractiveness so that the most important technologies are nearest to the center.

  2. Set the segmentation dimension to communicate categories

    The segment dimension places the technology elements in terms of the 360 degrees of the circle, categorizing the dots into slices of the Radar.  It is therefore appropriate to set the Segmentation dimension to a category properties such as Responsible Business Unit, Internal Status or Technology Readiness Level instead of properties that have ranged values from low to high.

  3. Set the Color dimension to communicate timely urgency

    The colors of dots on the Radar typically range in a spectrum from cold colors that contain blue tones to warm red colors. As a result, it is effective to set the Color dimension to communicate properties that range from cold low importance to hot urgent, such as Recommended Action, Technology Readiness Level, and Need for Action.

  4. Optional: set the Halo and Donut dimensions

    So far, we’ve only used three dimensions of visual representation on the Radar: Segment, Distance, and Color. There are two more you can use: Halo (a translucent circle that expands from the dot ) and Donut (a loop around the dot that fills up clockwise). Conceptually, it makes sense to use these visual indicators to suit the property it is set to communicate. For instance, the Halo is suitable for properties related to size, such as Potential Impact and Scope. The Donut suits properties that indicate a degree of completion, such as Internal Know-How or Technology Readiness.

  5. Remove irrelevant properties 

    Don’t add additional properties and dimensions unless it’s key to what you want to communicate with the Radar. You want your colleagues to notice and concentrate on the most important info, not distract them with nice-to-know info. So it may be better in some cases to use only one secondary dimension (Color, Halo, or Donut) at a time. The aim is to configure the view to make intuitive sense to a viewer so that your Technology Radar can be a “go-to space” for your colleagues, a single point of truth for technology management and further stakeholders.

  6. Rate the technologies collaboratively
    A Radar visualization only becomes truly meaningful if a team adds their own ratings to the technologies on the Radar, so that it reflects their aggregated opinions. If the majority of dots are all in the same ring of the circle, or the same color, that might indicate that you have not yet sufficiently differentiated those technologies through collaborative rating. Encourage your colleagues to enhance the Radar by adding their ratings so that it reflects what is important to the business.