Our Approach

Scenario Planning

Our scenario planning tool can be an integrated component of our strategic and business planning facilitation offering. By working together we can build on the experience of your organisation to develop a Strategic Plan that is truly inspiring – to your employees and to industry.

Furthermore, our approach brings significant benefit to organisations in numerous contexts, such as during project launch phases, organisational restructures, leadership development programs.

Our approach is to use scenario planning as a way of building cohesion and alignment across individuals through a creative and engaging process. Whilst we design the process to have a high degree of ‘fun’ to it, we ensure that robust and tangible outcomes are achieved. These outcomes include, but aren’t limited to:

  • Developing useable scenario stories that can be shared across the organisation to engage all employees in the possibilities for the future.
  • Once painted, the stories can be used to test the robustness of proposed strategies and policies, to design alternative approaches, in effect informing the organisation of tools that will result in effective planning.
  • Creating opportunities for individuals to work with people from other divisions who may not normally have the opportunity to work together as part of their usual roles.
  • Enhancing the ability of individuals to think beyond the typical constraints of past and present, exploring strategic possible and plausible futures.

What We Do

The four phases of Alchimie’s scenario planning methodology are outlined below:

  1. Prepare

    • What is the scope of the scenario planning exercise, ie the topic?  For example, may be sector-wide, organisation-wide, etc.
    • What time horizon is to be considered?
    • What are the key influencing factors or issues that will shape the future of the organisation/sector, and what are the key parameters and assumptions today? It is in relation to these influencing factors that the scenarios can help most, by allowing options to be tested against possible futures.
  2. Identify potential Scenario Drivers

    • Develop a range of factors that may have an impact on the topic’s environment. These are the forces external to the organisation that will determine the future dynamics that lead to change. At this stage, factors should be included whether or not they are regarded as predictable.
  3. Generate scenarios

    • From the list of potential scenario drivers developed above, a very small number (ideally just two) need to be chosen as the basis for scenarios.
    • Select the scenario drivers which, overall and in combination, have: (i) the largest expected change likelihood/impact, and (ii) the largest variability in likely outcome. This is an iterative process; it is important to try a number of combinations in order to identify those that will generate distinctive futures which can be characterised.
    • Assuming the scenario drivers have been narrowed to just two, plot these as a graph, thus defining four separate futures.
    • Through deep immersion and imagination, develop each scenario as a plausible story, against a timeline running from the present to the agreed time horizon.  To help with this, complete a table outlining how each scenario may impact each of the key influencing factors nominated in the “Prepare” phase of the scenario planning exercise.
  4. Respond

    • The process of developing the scenarios can itself result in significant informal learnings, sometimes informing future steps.  In most instances, there is value through formal review of each scenario to ask: “What actions would we take today - pre-emptively - if we knew the scenario would become reality?”
    • In some instances, further work will be needed to generate a quantitative estimate of each scenario’s impact.
    • In order to track whether any of the anticipated scenarios is emerging in reality, a handful of lead-indicators might be developed, to serve as triggers for activating pre-prepared responses.
    • It is not only the scenarios generation and response that are important – it is the scenarios planning conversation itself. In working through scenarios, your organisation is developing its capacity to respond to issues in real time, mastering the types of direct honest dialogue required that could be more difficult when under actual stress.