Scenario planning is a structured way for businesses to contemplate the future. Scenario planning is often called scenario and contingency planning and involves developing a small set of scenarios or stories regarding how the future may unfold and how it may impact an issue that confronts them.
The scenario planning process generally starts with a lengthy discussion on how the participants believe changes in society, economics, politics or technology may impact a certain issue.
From this, a list of priorities, including things that will have the greatest impact on the issue are under debate and those whose outcome has the greatest uncertainty. These priorities form the basis for outlining a plausible future outcome.
Scenario planning draws on a wide range of disciplines and interests, including economics, psychology, politics and demographics. Organizations who incorporate scenario planning will gain a better understanding of visualizing what future conditions or events are most likely to occur, what their consequences or effects could be and how to respond or benefit from them.