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FORESIGHT TOOLS –SCENARIO PLANNING. Ian Miles IoIR University of Manchester [email protected] http://les1.man.ac.uk/cric/Ian_Miles. Outline:. What are Scenarios? Why Use them? Varieties of Scenarios Ways of Producing Scenarios

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Foresight tools scenario planning l.jpg

FORESIGHT TOOLS –SCENARIOPLANNING

Ian Miles IoIR

University of Manchester

[email protected]

http://les1.man.ac.uk/cric/Ian_Miles


Outline l.jpg
Outline:

  • What are Scenarios?

  • Why Use them?

  • Varieties of Scenarios

  • Ways of Producing Scenarios

  • Using Scenarios in Scenario Planning and Foresight


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What are scenarios?

Many definitions – Kahn, Schwartz, etc.

Two main emphases:

IMAGE OF THE FUTURE –

Description(s) of a future set of circumstances, portrait(s) of the state of affairs. “Static”. Date or period may be more or less tightly specified, or image tied to a particular set of developments).

FUTUREHISTORY –

Description of a future course of events, sequence of developments. “Dynamic”,, often highlighting key events, decisions, or turning points


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Multiple scenario analysis

Common to use 3 or more scenarios:

  • To illustrate alternatives, indicate a range of plausible developments (not one inevitable future path).

  • To stimulate reflection on underlying assumptions.

  • To assess robustness of strategies.

  • To give insight into contexts and outcomes (intended or otherwise) under which actions may be undertaken, events may happen, objectives may be realised.

  • To help identify turning points, key decisions, indicators, early warnings of change.


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Uses of Scenarios

Many Uses including:

  • Scenario Analysis as Methodological Tool

  • to structure work, ensure robustness of strategies, stimulate and challenge informants.

  • Scenario Workshops as Process Tools

  • to allow for exchange of views and visions, provoke and legitimate thinking “out of box” (routine paths), etc.

  • Scenario Reports as Products

  • for synthesis and presentation of results – to integrate and check coherence of outputs, to communicate and illustrate major results and conclusions.


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Scenarios as Product and Process

Products (codified outputs)

  • reports, books, videos. Discursive accounts, summaries, action lists and priorities. Inputs to decision making. Scenarios: to integrate diverse studies, concretise and communicate visions; suggest action points and key indicators

    Process (embodied knowledge, networks, actions)

  • forging and enriching networks, developing knowledge about knowledge. Establishing and empowering constituencies for action. Scenario analysis: to recruit support, integrate diverse viewpoints;share & fuse visions, provide focus for joint work.

    The big question: What sort of mix?


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The Numbers Game

  • One scenario - a presentational device, to illustrate a particular future. (E.g. a preferred or most likely state)

  • Several scenario vignettes- to indicate different facets of essentially the same future - illustration, a tool for elaborating ideas, for exploring the consistency of different lines of thought.

  • Canonical variations – variations around a dominant set of trends.

  • Multiple scenario analysis - setting out alternative paths of development and their implications.

  • HOW MANY – depends on context. Usual rule of thumb – 3 or 4. But some work, e.g. Canadian studies, uses many more.


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Building Scenarios

  • Clarifying Purposes, Audiences

  • Identify Key Drivers

  • Develop themes, “stories”

  • Compare relevant elements

  • Develop “sign posts”

  • Check wildcards


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Two Stances for Scenario Analysis

Starting from the present(“exploratory”):

What next?

What if?

OUTWARD

Where to?

How to?

Starting from the future

(“normative”):

INWARD


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Trends, processes

Course of events (future history)

Outcome of events (image of future)

Worldview

Events, strategies

Outward: The Principle

OUTWARD


Inward the principle l.jpg

Critical event path

Trends, processes

Worldview

Events, strategies

Course of events (future history)

Outcome of events (image of future)

Inward: The Principle

Critical end-state (profile of future)

INWARD


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A

B

C

Outward Scenarios – Common Approach

A common framework for workshop and expert groups to systematically analyse “drivers and shapers”, and to group trends and events is STEEPV:

Pathways diverge according to varying Events/Trends

  • Social

  • Technological

  • Economic

  • Environmental

  • Political

  • Values

May also diverge according to worldviews or strategic alternatives


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May select particularly interesting trends, uncertainties – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result. May use standard structure and process drivers (etc) through these. E.g. IAF adaptation of GBN scenarios for workshops:BEST GUESS, best intelligence, extrapolation, most likely; HARD TIMES (major, but not “over the cliff” challenges); Improvement/ Paradigm shift 1; Visionary/Paradigm shift 2

Choosing Outward Scenarios


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What would – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

it be like?

How do we

get there?

Will world economic development mean:

High Growth

Profile 2

Profile 1

High Equality

Low Equality

Profile 4

Profile 3

Worldviews

Low Growth

Inward Scenarios – Desk-based Example

A step on from IAF/GBN: select futures of particular interest to users - not necessarily desirable ones :

thus a PROFILE approach, with parameters as outcomes, not drivers or trends


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Indicators of realisation and progress – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

Background inputs (inc framework scenarios, SWOT, etc)

Specification of feasible, desirable future

Actions and responsible parties

Inward Scenarios - Workshop Example

A desirable futures of particular interest to users - the SUCCESS SCENARIO (uses a PROFILE approach, but not usually multiple scenario analysis other than at outset)


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Scenario Generation & Analysis - – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result. Methods

  • Genius forecasts

  • Expert Groups, deskwork, with systematic tools

  • Surveys, clustering articulated viewpoints

  • Workshops

  • .. Beginning to see computer support in several ways inc. (a) modelling (b) group support (c) viewpoint analysis


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UPWARDS – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

OUTWARD

INWARD

DOWNWARDS

“Ups” and “Downs” of Scenario Generation Methods

Developed using inputs from large constituency (usually including, if not exclusively) “users”.

Developed in workshop, etc., involving at least some users.

Small constituency of “experts” develop for large user community.


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UPWARDS – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

OUTWARD

INWARD

DOWNWARDS

Examples of “Ups” and “Downs”

Analysis of survey results to define different expectations

Exploratory ………. SCENARIO WORKSHOPS …….Normative

Various combinations of approaches…

Expert group analysis using “what if” approaches, using worldviews/different perspectives, using end-state profiles…


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Pace of Change: – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result. Faster

Slower

Results of

Change

more:

NegativePositive

1 2

3 4

Multiple Outward Scenarios clustered from Survey Responses

Survey asked a series of questions about how far IT applications and implications would have developed over next 10, 20 years.

  • Results factor analysed to obtain simplified structure

  • First two components led to four scenarios, with numerical estimates, etc.

IT Futures Surveyed


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Desk-Based Outward – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result. Scenarios, derived from different diagnoses of present situation

Where are we now?

Scenario 1

Scenario 2

Scenario 3

How much change to expect; how similar to present...

Paperless Society


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Dimitrious - Digital Me – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

Carmen - Traffic & Commerce

Maria - Road Warrior

Annette & Solomon - Social Learning

Workshop-based Inwards Scenario

Potential Functionality of AmI

 REQUIREMENTS:

Sociopolitical

 Business & Industrial Models

 Technology………

IPTS/ISTAGAmbience


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Planning Process – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

  • Is there a specific issue – or is this general strategic intelligence?

  • Planning team, drawing on relevant expertise (within and outside organisation)

  • Embedding scenario work, fostering “ownership”

  • Legitimate scenario activity as real work

  • Undermining business-as-usual assumptions, confronting potential challenges, testing strategies

  • Forging groups to develop new approaches

  • Creating frameworks for more quantitative analysis


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HISTORIES – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

“Flow charts”

Trend analysis

Signposts (indicators and events – useful for scanning)

Narratives (press reports; historian’s reflections…)

Strategy games – good for analysis of options, plans…

IMAGES

Comparative Tables

Charts

Narratives (press stories; diaries, vignettes …)

portrait of organisation/ market/ actors... policy outcomes

Presentation and communication

How to deal with wildcards??


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Useful – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

Scenario Assessment ~ how far are the scenarios/outputs:

  • Not too numerous,detailed or ambiguous – expressed in terms relevant to user capabilities and interests

  • Reflect the range of potential future conditions, challenges, for the topic/users

  • Stretch thinking, include surprises

  • Confront the difficulty, ambiguity, and significance of the topic; Scope for thinking the unthinkable, transgressing boundaries, while not triggering kneejerk controversy

Robust (not Accurate as such)

Novel/ Stimulating

Provocative/ Challenging


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Conclusions – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result. :

  • Scenarios are potentially very useful, but have to be appropriate to purposes, audience, etc

  • Can make product and/or process contributions to Foresight and planning – and to sharing visions & plans.

  • A combination of expertise and craft – not magic, gurus not necessary, but require preparation, training.

  • Capable of being produced in many different ways.

  • There may be a best way or at least a best set of ways for a given situation, but there is no one all-purpose best way.

  • Sometimes fun to produce; sometimes fun to read, usually hard work to create (OK);often hard work to use (this is not OK)!


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End of Presentation – e.g. where high importance and high uncertainty. Various methods. 2x2 common result.

Thanks for attention – questions welcome


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