Decision making and planning under low levels of predictability: enhancing the scenario method

George Wright, P Goodwin

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

    141 Citations (Scopus)


    In this paper we review and analyse scenario planning as an aid to anticipation of the future under conditions of low predictability. We examine how successful the method is in mitigating issues to do with inappropriate framing, cognitive and motivational bias, and inappropriate attributions of causality. Although we demonstrate that the scenario method contains weaknesses, we identify a potential for improvement. Four general principles that should help to enhance the role of scenario planning when predictability is low are discussed: (i) challenging mental frames, (ii) understanding human motivations, (iii) augmenting scenario planning through adopting the approach of crisis management, and (iv) assessing the flexibility, diversity, and insurability of strategic options in a structured option-against-scenario evaluation.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)813-825
    Number of pages13
    JournalInternational Journal of Forecasting
    Issue number4
    Publication statusPublished - Oct 2009


    • decision making
    • planning
    • low levels
    • predictability
    • scenario method

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