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Scenario Planning : A Workshop Consulting Approach When the Future Needs to be Different

In today’s business environment, management consulting firms must be ready to address client challenges and needs that will transform their business by 10 or 100 times. Tools and methods must be scaled up to ensure applicability to the widest possible audience globally.

The Consulting Workshop Series provides a good understanding of the 10 Methods of conducting Workshops that are custom designed to fit specific workshop objectives. Different methods are developed for the purpose of providing organizations the most appropriate tool necessary to support organizations to achieve their strategic goals and targets.

If management is faced with a situation where the past or present is unlikely to be a guide for the future, Scenario Planning is the best method to use.

Understanding Scenarios as an Effective Tool to Planning

Scenarios are vision-building. It is an effective tool when the degree of uncertainty about the future is high.

What are Scenarios?

Scenarios are narrative descriptions of potential futures that focus our attention on relationships between events and decision points. Its primary objective is planning and preparing for an uncertain future.

Scenarios can be effective in improving long-term decision-making. It motivates change and generates alternative trajectories for future developments. You can use Scenarios to improve preparedness for emergencies and contingencies. Most importantly, Scenarios can be used to guide key choices and generate a vision that can facilitate action.

The Steps to Building a Well-informed Scenario

Building a well-informed Scenario takes 3 strategic stages.

  1. Pre-workshop Phase. The Pre-Workshop Phase is the starting point for establishing the framework of the Scenario-building Workshop. It establishes the opinions and intelligence needed for the workshop. It is also in this phase that the Scenario Team is organized to make sure that the preparations needed for the workshop proper are done in a most effective manner. This is most important as Scenario Teams are the decision makers, the experts, and the creative thinkers necessary in the development of the Scenarios.
  1.  Scenario-building Workshop Phase. Broken down into 2 sub-phases, the Scenario-building Workshop Phase is essential in establishing the scenario logic. It is in this phase wherein key factors in the environment are identified and the approach to fleshing out the Scenarios are established. Essentially, the Scenario-building Workshop Phase builds up the fundamental core elements that will support Scenarios as a useful learning tool.
  1. Post-Workshop Phase. The Post-workshop Phase is the concluding phase where scenarios and analysis are presented to the relevant public to generate insights. At this stage, it most critical that Scenarios are effectively converted into actual plans.

The Challenge: Converting Scenarios to Plans

At the end of the day, it is most important that Scenarios are converted into plans. Scenarios become plans after going through 4 strategic steps – Strategic Analysis, Scenario Creation, Strategy Finding, and Strategy Formulation. These steps shall be thoroughly discussed in the editable PowerPoint.

Interested in gaining more understanding of the Scenario Planning consulting workshop technique? You can learn more and download an editable PowerPoint about Consulting Workshop Series: Scenario Planning here on the Flevy documents marketplace.

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About Joseph Robinson

Joseph Robinson is the Vice President of Strategy at Flevy. Flevy is a marketplace for business documents--specifically, documents used by folks who work in a business function (e.g. Marketing, Corporate Finance, IT, etc.). These documents can range from Excel Financial Models to customizable PowerPoint Templates to "How-To"​ Business Frameworks, covering management topics from Digital Transformation to Growth Strategy to Lean Management. You can peruse a full list of management topics available on Flevy here. Prior to Flevy, Joseph worked as an Associate at BCG and holds an MBA from the Sloan School of Management at MIT. You can connect with Joseph on LinkedIn here.

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