What is the question/issue you want to answer/address?
Before you launch into a scenario planning exercise it is vital that you scope the situation first. By going through a scoping exercise you will be able to ascertain whether or not your situation and what you are trying to achieve are best suited to being applied to a scenario planning activity.
You may discover, for instance, that your issue involves only small changes or a few elements in which case it may be useful to apply a method other than scenario planning – which traditionally considers situations on a larger scale. The core issues and problems to be addressed can be identified at this stage.
Identify the key decision factors (what would you like to know about the future in order to make a decision?). You will also be able to identify the emphasis of the process on the testing of existing ideas, the generating of new ideas, or the integrating of elements into a coherent strategy.
Spending time from the outset on identifying where you are and what you are hoping to get out of an exercise such as this can bring benefits at later stages. You may find it useful to stage a ‘mini’ workshop or conduct a small number of interviews within your organisation in order to define what you want out of the situation and what your ambition is for it.
You can also identify what your playing field or solution space is going to be and set out the quality aims of the project. It is also useful to agree on the overall assumptions that will be made for the basing of the scenarios.