Greetings, fellow newbies! I’m glad you could join me for our first chapter, “What is Scenario Planning?” Today, we’ll be discussing the basics of scenario planning and its importance to your organization.
So let’s start with the main question: What is Scenario Planning?
Like any experienced newbie, I immediately consulted the most sacred and abundant source of all human knowledge: Wikipedia. Scenario planning is defined as follows: “a strategic planning method that some organizations use to make flexible long-term plans.”
Awesome. Thanks. But like…what does that mean, man? Long-term planning? I’m young, I can’t think that far ahead.
Alright, time for this newbie to roll up her sleeves and do what she does best: over-simplify!
Flexible Plans: Short-term versus Long-term
What does this mean, exactly? It means that all of your decisions have to be able to adapt to any situation. Short-term plans would be stuff like: bringing an umbrella to work in case it rains; leaving five minutes early just in case there’s traffic; bringing a snack with you to work in case your stomach starts growling before a meeting. It’s the “just in case” aspect of preparation. Being flexible is the process of asking yourself “could I” and “should I?” It’s being ready for the “what-ifs” and preventing the “crap, I-knew-I -should-haves” of life!
Now let’s journey over to the long-term territory by using a rudimentary example that all newbies can understand.
Jane is having a baby (congrats!). Here are examples of short-term decisions versus long-term:
Short-term decision: choosing which hospital to deliver in, when to have your baby shower, what color to paint the nursery
Long-term decision: choosing the godparents, picking a name
The long-term decisions are in effect for your entire life, and more importantly, your baby’s!
Now your organization is your baby. You have both short-term and long-term plans that (hopefully) inform each other.
Prepare for both expected and unexpected events.
This is a crucial part of scenario planning. This is when you compare what you know against the “what-ifs,” no matter the probability. Let’s continue with the example from earlier, where Jane has to name her baby.
What Jane knows/what is expected: It’s a girl
What-if: Turns out to be a boy
Flexible Plan: Be prepared for either outcome by either choosing a unisex name, or having two names to choose from.
Now let’s relate this to space management. Bob runs a company that’s been growing fast. He already knew that he would eventually have to move into a bigger facility when he started the business, but now there is a projected 20% growth rate over the next two years. How is Bob going to make sure he’s prepared for this growth?
What Bob expects: 20% growth for the next 2 years
What-if: It’s 35% instead?
Flexible Plan: Prepare for either outcome! Find a facility with an open floor plan that, if the time comes, the furniture could be rearranged to comfortably house additional employees.
See how wonderful flexibility is when it comes to long-term decisions?
Now imagine you can see into the future.
All scenarios have their hypothetical outcomes, and our software allows you to visualize all of them. For each “if this, then that,” you have an interactive map of what your facilities would look like according to each path you could possibly take. Do you know what that means? You can see into the future, man. You’re basically psychic. Not only that, but you can shift entire rooms, nay, entire floors, with just a click of a button (maybe a couple clicks, actually, but you get the picture).
It’s like trying on new glasses without having to buy them first. It’s like seeing what different haircuts would look like without actually committing to the clippers. It’s choosing the best solution for your company’s lifetime. You’re in control of your own destiny!
Why is this important? Because it’s imperative to the success of your company to make informed decisions that will prevent potential risk. You gotta protect your baby.
Which provides stability and security, knowing that you and your company will be able to withstand both predicted and unexpected obstacles.
Which means saving a lot of money and time. I think you know how important that is.