Scenario planning

Scenario planning

Technique

Envision and explore multiple plausible future scenarios to inform design decisions. This technique is rooted in the idea that the futures are uncertain and dynamic. And by considering a range of possible outcomes, we can better prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

Envision and explore multiple plausible future scenarios to inform design decisions. This technique is rooted in the idea that the futures are uncertain and dynamic. And by considering a range of possible outcomes, we can better prepare for the challenges and opportunities ahead.

steps to map scenarios

steps to map scenarios

Identify megatrends

Start by identifying the megatrends in your design context. These could encompass technological advancements, societal changes, environmental shifts, economic developments, or any other significant trends relevant to your problem space.

Choose two unrelated megatrends

Choose two megatrends that, at first glance, appear unrelated. These megatrends should have the potential to impact your design project significantly. Extrapolate these megatrends into an x and y axis on a matrix or chart.

Create scenarios in each quadrant

On the matrix, you'll have four quadrants. Develop scenarios for each quadrant, considering how the intersection of the x and y megatrend factors could play out in the future. Ensure these scenarios are plausible and internally consistent.

Validate the scenarios with experts

Seek feedback and validation from experts in your field. Their insights and expertise can refine the scenarios and provide a more accurate representation of potential future developments.

Validate the scenarios with experts

Seek feedback and validation from experts in your field. Their insights and expertise can refine the scenarios and provide a more accurate representation of potential future developments.

Best practices

Best practices

Involve a cross-disciplinary team

Scenario planning benefits from diverse perspectives. Include team members with different backgrounds and expertise to better identify and understand uncertainties.

Challenge your background bias

Avoid overly optimistic or pessimistic scenarios and involve people of different backgrounds. Be open to a range of possibilities even those that may challenge your preconceived notions.

Balance short-and long-term

While scenario planning often looks at the long-term future, it's also important to imagine how such scenario could be manifested in the near future as it'll require immediate attention from your design decision.

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