Scenario Planning & Execution in 10 Steps

Super Contributor
SCENARIO PLANNING is a technique for visualizing different plausible futures. The outcome of the scenario planning process is a portfolio of future scenarios, each representing a different way your business landscape could look in a few years. This landscape also includes the players who inhabit it—your competitors, customers, suppliers, employees, and other stakeholders. The scenarios will naturally differ from each other in some key aspects, probably even dramatically so, but if you do the process properly, each one should be realistic and entirely possible. Based on these different scenarios, you and your planning team can formulate more flexible strategies that ensure your organization has the agility to compete in whichever future does in fact come to pass.
The key benefit of the process is therefore not that it reveals what will happen in a few years' time. Alas, the unknown will remain unknown. Rather, what scenario planning does do is open your eyes to different ways the future might realistically develop, and with these insights, you’re more likely to make more flexible, more thoughtful, and better decisions today.
This App takes you step by step through the process of identifying future scenarios that are relevant to your business, understanding the key challenges and opportunities they would present if they do materialize, and coming up with some elements of a strategic response to each one.



Scenario Planning Process Illustrated
  • Scenario Planning Process Illustrated - this 10-step process identifies not only possible future landscapes, or scenarios, but also assesses timelines and owners for every stage.
Framing the Challenge
  • Framing the Challenge - it's important to define exactly what the exercise is aiming to illuminate, and how long the time horizon is (usually 5 to 10 years).
Information Gathering
  • Information Gathering - Some useful questions are presented that may help your group establish the right mindset for the exercise, and focus everyone on the kinds of information that could provide insights into how the future may change, and how you could be affected.
Identifying Driving Forces
  • Identifying the "driving forces" that will have an impact on your future. We classify these driving forces into four categories, i.e. the so-called "PEST model" ( P > Political trends or forces, E > Economic, S >Societal, T > Technological)
Defining Critical Uncertainties
  • For each driving force identified, what is its potential impact - high or low? Is it predictable or uncertain? The 2 driving forces that are considered to be the highest-impact and highest-uncertainty are deemed to be the "critical uncertainties".
Generating Scenarios
  • Once the critical uncertainties are identified, they form the axes of a matrix which defines 4 future scenarios
Scenario Matrix
  • Scenario Matrix is arrived at by assuming that the 2 critical uncertainties chosen may develop in one direction, or its exact opposite. The uncertainties are represented as axes of a matrix, which then defines 4 quadrants, or scenarios, each one a unique combination of how the 2 uncertainties may turn out.
Naming and Validating the Scenarios
  • Each scenario generated by this process should be checked in terms of its plausibility, its independence of the others, and ideally could even be validated by knowledgeable persons who were not involved in the process (within the organization or external experts).
  • As time goes on, a number of signposts in your business environment can indicate whether a particular scenario is unfolding. You should identify these and monitor the landscape for these signals.


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