Prioritizing your portfolio with TechAssess
Why does TechAssess result in a number? This was a highly debated question when we designed the tool. One school of thought was that it would be abused and used as an excuse to close cases, or as a defense inventors used to insist they remain active. Having moved ahead with the other side of the discussion, that is, including the score, I can safely say those fears were unfounded. The score allows you to perform analyses and offers a method to roughly compare cases. This comes in handy when you are trying to figure out where your time is going and if you are appropriately doling it out to important technologies.
For instance, with the TechAssess score in your database, you can run a technology report sorted by status, then TechAssess score, giving you a prioritized list of roughly where you should be spending your time. Take the following report, for instance, which is a subset of a full report for me. I can quickly look through the list, top to bottom, to ensure I'm not missing moving a technology forward that is important to the licensing effort. The TechAssess score is an indication of the ability to license a technology.
Running this report at the beginning of my week helped me focus attention to the cases that held the most promise for licensing, thus increasing the number of license agreements I could complete. The best thing was the transparency. By showing each inventor what management strategy was assigned to their case and what TechAssess showed as strengths and weaknesses, they were almost all satisfied. This is opposed to offices I've seen that don't employ such management tools where the inventors are mostly dissatisfied.
Finally, as the manager, I knew that I had much more control over my portfolio, knowing that I was spending time on the cases that would benefit the university most while controlling the patent expenses. As you can imagine, this is a good feeling.