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In general, a scenario planning exercise will start by identifying the focal question, whereafter environmental scanning will take place. Various methodologies can be used in Futures Thinking but scenario planning is probably the most well known. So, what exactly does scenario planning entail? The business dictionary defines scenario planning as a process of visualising :

  1. what future conditions or events are probable,
  2. what their consequences or effects would be like,
  3. how to respond to-  or benefit - from them.


Peter Schwartz in his book “The Art of the Long View" states that scenarios are stories that can help one to recognise and adapt to your present environment. Scenario planning is a method to help you identify the different future possibilities and the ways of navigating these possibilities. Scenario planning can also be defined as a structured way for organisations to think about the future.

What does scenario planning at the IFR entail?

Scenarios are a creative and shared process that allows time for reflection about the organisation and its future. It also provides a structured process for people to start 'consciously' thinking about the longer term future and possible implications for strategy today.

In general, a scenario planning exercise will start by identifying the focal question, whereafter environmental scanning will take place.

Our scenario generation approach developed over more than 40 years of practicing foresight.  It rests upon the seminal works of Bertrand de Jouvenel, Pierre Wack and Kees van der Heijden.

The process that we make use of can be divided in the following phases:

  • Describe the scenario field
  • Identify the key drivers at play in the defined scenario field
  • Perform an impact analysis of the key factors
  • Identify the pivotal uncertainties (these will form the two axes of the scenario set)
  • Develop scenario stories for each of the four quadrants
  • Design an approach for the transfer of the scenarios to stakeholders


To arrange a scenario planning session for your organisation please contact Lynnette Ferreira at Lynnette@ifr.sun.ac.za.

 

Click here to see the Scenario Planning programme