Scenario planning is used specifically in the business industry to ‘identify the present and future as a continually evolving story’. This method helps to see the present, whilst also looking at possible future scenarios.
It is measured by the degree of uncertainty, comparing unknown and known solutions to known and unknown problems. Personally, I think that this will allow businesses to set more achievable goals, because the measures are specific. However, would some suggest that they are too broad, as it captures a whole range of possibilities?
Firms can use scenario planning to analyse the current situation of their business e.g. where they are in the given market at current, and where they aim to be in the future. Again, allowing goals to be set. It can help guide an organisation in the long term.
For scenario planning to be successful companies need to be realistic when planning ahead, whilst also implementing strategies. Lastly, it is important to continue to monitor any changes in the market, during the period of your scenario implementation.
Apple have used scenario planning to keep its options open, allowing it to identify a range of potential outcomes, whilst keeping itself in a good position to stay competitive. More on Apple’s strategy, regarding the use of computer chips is mentioned at http://adamhartung.com/scenario-planning-at-apple/. Apple are a very successful market leader, which shows that scenario planning must be a worthwhile technique.
2 thoughts on “Is scenario planning worthwhile?”
Wowzeroonie Yasmin! what a great blog – you had me sufficiently engrossed! just one quick question though.. how far ahead in your opinion should you do scenario planning?.
Nicholas Saxon Jones
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I believe scenario planning is very important for a business, because of the fast changing environment we are in. This said, there are two main questions to be answered; firstly how far ahead should companies do scenario planning? (as suggested by Nicholas Jones) and secondly, how do you determine whether the scenario you have analysed is close to what is actually going to happen in the future or not? Some people get it wrong, make decisions based on it and cause business failure so I think it is definitely something to take into consideration.
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