Yesterday I attended the Horizon Projects New Zealand meeting. One of the exercises we undertook was to use the Hype cycle, a visualisation tool produced by Gartner to examine the different technologies identified in the New Zealand Horizon report
The hype cycle allows you to plot where either you are or your organisatiuon is on the use of a technology. The cycle is divided into a number of stages which a technology will usually progress through. The initial high expectations. the disappointment where it isn’t delivering quite what was expected and then a steady climb to effective use. The depth and height of peaks and troughs is dependent on the process and investigation that an organisation implements.
In the meeting we went through the three different technology horizons in the reports and then mapped where we consider ourselves to be on the hype cycle from an educational perspective and from a business perspective. The horizons were:
1 year or less
- cloud computing
- collaborative environments
- mobile apps
- tablet computing
2 to 3 years
- digital identity
- electronic publishing
- game based learning
- personal learning environments
4 to 5 years
- augmented reality
- gesture based computing
- next generation batteries
- smart objects
It was an interesting exercise and one that for me provided insight into many of the projects I have been involved in. Where are we on this process? Are we still in the early stages of high expectations or in the trough of disillusionment.
I can also draw parallels to what we see in change management. While often we miss the peak of high expectations we do see the four stages that correspond to the trough and slope of enlightenment and plateau of productivity
Here is a challenge for you. Pick a technology you have or are thinking of implementing. Now consider where you are on then “cycle”. Now considering your position, what can you do to move quickly to the “plateau of productivity”? How can you reduce the steepness of the slope to the trough or avoid it entirely?
It strike me that with due process and realistic expectations you can avoid most if not all of the roller coaster ride?