Identify and discuss potential implications and impacts of scenarios.
Having generated new or existing strategy elements, services, technologies, markets, partnerships or processes to link to the scenarios it is then important that they are tested (or ‘wind-tunnelled’) for robustness. The central question to be answered is ‘how well will these ideas work out in the four scenarios’.
This is an iterative process and can often offer a better understanding of the way that ideas can be further developed and implemented. A suggested approach for establishing this is to first brainstorm the issues and possibilities and then follow this up with structured discussion within the team or group in order to ask appropriate questions and seek answers in order to identify and rate enabling and constraining factors.
The results can then be summarised in an ‘option table’. This example shows the use of a five point grading scheme, using + and – to denote positive or negative consequences (ie, the scale is ++, +, 0, -, –).
An alternative approach to the five point scale is the use of the Boston Matrix.
Household consumption savings option: Example summary of a test options debate.
Cautious world: Consumers willing to save energy because they’re sensitive to ecological consequences but they don’t have that much money to spend. A majority (80%) will respond to government energy promotion campaigns if the investments are small and payback time is short.
Future unlimited: Energy bills for most households no big issue. Energy saving can only be sold if the design is consistent with the consumer’s lifestyle. Government campaigns will only reach a limited group of consumers (eco-consumers and the poor). In this world, integrated energy systems will have more success because they deliver a more comfortable living environment.
Satisfied citizens: Consumers are also very willing to save energy because they are sensitive to ecological consequences of energy use. A majority of consumers (70%) will respond to messages from energy promotion campaigns.
Challenging world: Almost all consumers are open to ways to save money, although saving strategies for households that need big investments and long payback periods are unpopular because of the economic situation.
Set up a workshop for participants to test the options generated in the previous stage (new products, services, strategies, etc) against each of the scenarios.
Depending on time, number of participants, scope, number of options to test, etc, there are a number of options you have about how to organise the group. For smaller groups they could work as one collective team testing each option against each scenario in turn.
For larger scale, you could divide groups into scenarios, so they test each option against their given scenario, or into options, where they test their given option against each of the scenarios (this does require knowledge of each scenario as a pre-requisite).
The intended outputs of such a session are to have created an options matrix (or equivalent, such as the Boston Matrix) for each option against the four scenarios. Added value is achieved if you can also improve the definition and detail of the best options along the way.