Strategy Development: Scenario Testing and Visioning

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Date Published:
January 30, 2009
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Community Contribution

Scenario Testing is a group learning activity. The basic premise can be used more widely in all kinds of settings, whether generating a knowledge strategy paper, (e.g. outline three possible future scenarios for the organisation in the introduction), a workshop, or an email debate. Generally, scenario testing would deliver three scenarios: a positive (or optimistic), negative (or pessimistic), and neutral (or middle-of-the-road) scenario. By actively using 'scenarios', several concerns and outcomes can be addressed at the same time. Participants are able to:

  • Identify general, broad, driving forces, which are applicable to all scenarios.
  • Identify a variety of plausible trends within each issue or trend (trends that vary depending on your assumptions so you get positive and negative perspectives). 
  • Combine the trends so you get a series of scenarios (for example, mostly positive trends identified in relation to an issue would give a positive scenario).

This resource from ODI walks users through a detailed scenario testing and visioning process.

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