Future-orientated corporate design

The aim of strategic planning and innovation management is to position the company favourably in tomorrow's competitive environment and to achieve sustainable success. This is ensured by applying the 4-level model for future-orientated corporate design (Fig. 1). The four levels of consideration - foresight, strategies, processes and systems - enable the systematic and advantageous positioning of the company in a competitive environment.

Foresight considers the systematic illumination of the future with the aim of identifying future opportunities and recognising threats to the established business of today.

The strategy describes the path from the company's current situation to a desirable situation in the future - the vision. Strategies must be developed for the business, products and technologies of tomorrow.

Well-structured business processes are the essential prerequisite for efficient service provision. At the process level, the business processes must be designed in accordance with the requirements of the strategy.

IT systems must be planned and introduced to support the processes previously derived from the strategy. These include hardware systems, basic systems such as operating systems, database systems and communication systems as well as user software systems to support the tasks in the main business processes.

Strategic product planning

In order to achieve innovations, potential identification, product identification and business planning must be addressed in the field of strategic product planning (Figure 2).

In addition to recognising the potential for success in the future, potential identification involves determining the corresponding options for action. Based on the recognised potential for success, product identification deals with the search for and selection of new product and service ideas for their development. Business planning involves the creation of a business strategy and the associated development of a business model and product strategy. The product strategy culminates in a business plan that demonstrates whether an attractive return on investment can be achieved with the new product or a new product option.

Our research in the context of strategic planning focuses on methods and tools in the fields of

  • Development of corporate, business and product/service strategies
  • Identification of future success potentials with the help of strategic foresight
  • Identifying promising product and service ideas (e.g. smart services)
  • Deriving customer requirements for product-service systems
  • Development of business models and business processes in the context of digitalisation


  • Gausemeier, J.; Dumitrescu, R.; Steffen, D.; Czaja, A.; Wiederkehr, O.; Tschirner, C.: Systems Engineering in Industrial Practice. Heinz Nixdorf Institute, Fraunhofer Project Group for Mechatronics Design Technology, UNITY AG, Paderborn, 2013
  • Gausemeier, J.; Dumitrescu, R.; Echterfeld, J.; Pfänder, T.; Steffen, D.; Thielemann, F.: Innovationen für die Märkte von morgen - Strategische Planung von Produkten, Dienstleistungen und Geschäftsmodellen. Carl Hanser Publishing House, Munich, 2019