Scenario planning helps organisations to understand what may lie ahead in the future by encouraging them to think the unthinkable. It is a strategy tool to help identify potential future environments and identify the affect that decisions made now have on an organisation in the future. These plausible future scenarios allow us to make better decisions that we can apply now to help with preparations in the future. If the future does eventuate then they have an action plan to put in place. Scenario planning identifies long term trends and projects their likely trajectory in the future.
It is a strategy that supports the inclusion of all decision makers so they have a better understanding of how different factors can shape the future. It also allows for ideas to be shared where other strategies may tend to only use a specific group of people such as management who may not have knowledge of factors which may be important when looking into the future and making decisions.
This planning allows for decisions now to cover a range of scenarios in the future. It is not looking at a goal for the future as strategic planning does. It allows for companies to be imaginative, creative and engage with the uncertainties of the future.