Barbara Heinzen, PhD
Using scenarios
IconProject initiation & design
IconScenario building
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IconUsing scenarios
IconArts & language
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Most scenario processes focus on building scenarios.  But if scenarios are only tools, how might they be used?  There is comparatively little written and published on the use of scenarios.  However, there are a number of very simple exercises that can be done to use scenarios to test strategic thinking and critical choices.  Each exercise asks another question which people in a group need to answer for each scenario.  See the presentation, (1999h) Using Scenarios for a sample of these simple exercises.

Another important use of scenarios is to take broad stories (like the future of Kenya or the global economic environment) and narrow the focus since the broad stories may not have described the consequences for a particular place or activity.  So, for example, if the Kenya Wildlife Service wanted to use the Kenya scenarios they would first need to describe what happens to the national parks in each scenario, the political standing of the service, etc.?

As a rule of thumb, an organisation needs to devote as much time and resource to using scenarios as they did to building them.  This is especially true when public interest scenarios are involved.  A strategy for engaging important public constituencies need to be designed from the very beginning.  The last slide in the Using Scenarios presentation shows one way to do that.
? Barbara Heinzen, 2012. All rights reserved.