Scenarios Planning

The course addresses scenarios as a forecasting and planning tool. In a turbulent world, organizations-in public and private sectors-must make vital decisions for an uncertain future. How does my company construct a global supply chain that delivers efficiency without incurring excessive risk? What technologies should I invest in? Should my government shift its resources towards Asia, and how can I mitigate the risk that other regions could become vital to my security? Facing fateful decisions in uncertainty, organizations make two types of mistakes: they assume a future that extrapolates the past, reinforcing status quo policies and blinding them to potentially disruptive events; or they refuse to decide, hoping for a clarity that never comes and forfeiting their leverage. They are blind-sided by their own assumptions, or cede the field to more agile actors. The scenario approach embraces forecasting as essential to strategy development and risk management, but challenges conventional assumptions about the future and incorporates imagination into the forecasting process. To make maximum and effective use of scenarios, two elements are essential, and these elements form the backbone of this course. One relates to the quality of the scenarios themselves.The second element is related to the scenarios’ utility for the organization.


  • Foundations of Scenarios Frameworks
  • Criteria and Options for Constructing Scenarios 
  • Presenting Scenarios and Shaping Content and Construction 
  • Strategies for Anticipating Change, Managing Risk, and Testing Alternate Strategies Through Case Studies
  • Mainstreaming Frameworks For Organizations

More details

You'll Walk Away with

  • Criteria for a good set of scenarios (plausible, distinctive, impactful).
  • How to construct good scenarios (focus groups, surveys, literature search).
  • Options for constructing scenarios, at various levels of resources/effort.
  • Most effective formats for presenting scenarios.
  • How scenarios have been used to anticipate change, manage risk, test alternate strategies (case studies).
  • How to shape scenario content and construction to the needs of specific organizations.

Ideal for

  • Students interested in learning how to construct good scnearios
  • Professionals seeking to learn the most effective formats for presenting scenarios
NO open sections available for this course at the moment. Please check back next semester.