Scenario Planning: How Shaping Tomorrow can help you

Scenario planning allows one to make assumptions about the future through the use of reports and planning tools which identify likely patterns and outcomes and inform decisions. By being informed of likely scenarios, you can be better prepared, transforming challenges into opportunities.

All businesses, organisations and governments are faced with uncertainty, but by utilising scenario planning you can demystify the future and turn uncertainty into business confidence.

We can tailor any project to your specific needs, but as standard offer open access to over 120 ready-made predictive scans covering:

Megatrends | Key Drivers | UN SDGs | Social changes | Job outlooks | Sector prospects | Future technologies | G20 countries | Existential threats

By making informed decisions based on what could happen in the future you are protecting your business or organisation from costly mistakes.


Benefits of scenario planning

There are many benefits of scenario planning and the ability to prepare for the future, including:

  • Agility and resilience to emerging change
  • Marketing in advance of trends
  • Informed decision making
  • Increased business performance
  • Allowing you to remain ahead of the competition
  • Have increased confidence in any action you take
  • Spot opportunities for growth and progression
  • Keeping ahead and informed of industry trends

Not all decisions you make within your organisation will require scenario planning, but if you are engaging in anything that has an element of risk or is reliant on external factors, requires a large investment or has a need for success attached to it then foresight through the use of scenario planning becomes a ‘must have’..

As a starting point to your scenario planning, it can be valuable to carry out a Pestle Analysis, reviewing the ​​key factors (Political, Economic, Sociological, Technological, Legal and Environmental) influencing your organisation to identify which future trends it may be useful for you to understand in more detail.

PESTLE can be developed with insight from Athena and our other planning tools and methodology for a truly informed planning process.


Scenario planning process

The scenario planning process will involve using the data gathered by Athena, and presenting a number of likely scenarios based on your initial query. 

The Professional Academy provides a useful illustration to highlight in detail  the scenario planning process and steps we will go through with you. To summarise, we usually follow the process below:

  1. FOCUS - Identify the need for scenario planning (what risk are you facing or concerns you have) and determine the exact question you need answering
  2. EXPLORE - Create the initial drivers list (what possible challenges could come out of the issue you have identified, for example if looking at emerging technologies it may be the use of AI, rising costs of staffing, etc)
  3. INTEGRATE - Gather data using Athena and create a draft report identifying a number of potential scenarios that could arise based on the initial question asked
  4. EVALUATE - Publish the final report in document, slideshow or webinar presentation format
  5. ACTIVATE - This report can be used and analysed by companies to inform them of possible outcomes so that they can be prepared for the changes that are ahead.

Scenario planning analysis

Once the likely scenarios have been identified, then you can move into a phase of scenario planning analysis, reviewing the scenarios and asking questions about the likely impact of each. For example:

  • Will this scenario affect my supply chain?
  • Is there sufficient demand for this new product or service?
  • What competition can we expect for this idea?
  • What opportunities does this scenario present?

Once you identify the possible impacts of each scenario you are better able to prepare for them and put steps in place to minimise the impact.

A word of caution here is to ensure that you review all possible scenarios (we will usually provide 4-5 as part of our assessment) and not just the one you think is most plausible. Scenario planning isn’t just about predicting one possible future scenario and planning for that, but more so dealing with all of the possible outcomes together so you can adapt and change as you see how the future unfolds.

It is also important to consider the longer term goals for your businesses and anticipate where that might change in the future too. For example, don’t just base your action plan on the current products or services you provide but also consider where you may take your business next for a complete strategy.


Scenario planning example

At Shaping Tomorrow we have carried out scenario planning activities for a number of industries including agriculture, food and drink, engineering, animal welfare, banking, healthcare, the environment, talent availability, manufacturing, logistics, Governments, science and technology and many more.

If you would like to find out more about our scenario planning services, then please contact us using the form below: