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Critically discuss the importance of scenario planning to developRisk Management and Crisis Management programs

  1. Introduction

Scenario planning plays an of import function in developing hazard direction and crisis direction programs. A good scenario planning ever helps organisations to see possible hereafters and cover with crisis and hazard successfully when exigencies happen. Consequently, most companies would wish to pass sum of clip and attempts in a formal, value scenario planning, so that they could acquire a clear hereafters and take appropriate determinations. This essay aims at the treatment on relationship between scenario planning and hazard and crisis direction programs, particularly in how scenario be aftering improves or limits the development of hazard and crisis direction programs. The whole check involves three chief concerns. At the first, briefly clarify the important of the scenario planning, including the definition and features. And so, present the hazard and crisis direction and the programs used to cover with them. Last but non the least, analyses the map of scenario planning for hazard and crisis direction programs. There are besides some company examples to back up the statement.

  1. Scenario planning

In recent old ages, scenario planning is progressively popular with organisations who consider it as a footing method in the strategic direction procedure. A recent study in UK showed that over 30 per centum of organisations use scenario planning in their strategic procedure ( Hodgkinson, et al. , 2006 ) , and earlier studies have shown the usage of scenario planning have about extended to mainland Europe ( Malaska, 1985 ) and the USA ( Linneman and Klein, 1983 ) . Scenario planning, besides called scenario analysis or scenario thought, is a manner to foretell possible hereafters that organisations have applied to a great scope of hazard and crisis. It is non merely a clear image of tomorrow, but besides the manner of thought and an on-going strategic addendum for hereafters. In this manner, directors could discourse objectively in full, and do scheme more flexible. It requires determination shapers to be more sensitive on the signals of revolution. Just like an first-class cheat participant, he ever could believe out the following few stairss and organize a concatenation of reactions in his encephalon. If directors could conceive of scenario occurs, they will be able to decide it with more composures and careful. The features of scenario planning are chiefly system thought, betterment of mental theoretical accounts and the aspiration, vision and imaginativeness exciting ( Chermack, et al. , 2001 ) . As a direction tool, scenario planning is different from the strategic planning which footing on the clear end and religion. Peoples could see the tendency of development and besides the system construction that would act upon this tendency through the method. In the interim, it is non merely the description of future scenario, but besides some alterations on mental theoretical accounts of organisations ( Godet and Fabrice, 1996 ) . If the scenario planning can non impact mental theoretical accounts for determination shapers, or lead to a revolution, it will barely make the existent value. Although there are still excessively many terra incognitas in future, it is still possible to imitate the decision-making on a series of believable, possible hereafter scenarios and validate repeatedly, that is the important of the scenario planning. In this instance when these future scenarios truly go on, directors could utilize the determinations which have been validated many times to avoid panic brought by unexpected accidents and increase the possibility of working chances.

  1. Crisis and Risk directionprograms

Crisis and hazard direction as situation-based direction system can be defined as “systematic procedure of identifying, analysing and reacting to project risk” ( Irimia-Dieguez, et al. , 2014, p2 ) . The undertaking hazard could go on in the procedure of development rhythm or be caused by the alterations in the external environment when implement the undertakings. Dey ( 2012 ) indicates that it contains six stairss: planning, hazard designation, qualitative hazard analysis, quantitative hazard analysis, hazard response planning, hazard monitoring and control. The purpose of crisis and hazard direction is to be good prepared for exigency, and demo a correct, seasonably attack to react. As the consequence of that, it is much easier to cover with the crisis and hazard and acquire them terminated without any losingss. Efficient crisis and hazard direction could assist organisations to do determinations right and guarantee the safety and unity of plus ( Irimia-Dieguez, et al. , 2014 ) . Furthermore, the efficient crisis and hazard direction needs a perfect program as counsel, so that the crisis and hazard direction could be implemented swimmingly, that is the crisis and hazard direction programs. The programs focus on the scheme for placing, analysing and decelerating hazard and besides the duty for crisis direction ( Dey, 2012 ) . Besides that, it will supply a completed guideline that refers to how to transport out the crisis and hazard direction in procedure of the undertaking. The original purpose of the crisis and hazard direction is to avoid the hazard and minimise loss, nevertheless, with the aid of the hazard direction programs, organisations could anticipate attain greater wagess ( Dey, 2012 ) . In a word, it is indispensable to pull up a crisis and hazard direction programs during the whole procedure of a undertaking.

  1. Good programs forCrisis and Risk direction

As mentioned before, good programs will better the procedure of crisis and hazard direction greatly. The intent of the hazard direction program is to put up the model that is used for placing hazards and developing schemes, so those hazards could be mitigated or even avoided. Having a good program could assist directors cover with exigencies when they occur and, hopefully, forestall them before they occur ( Horton, 2002 ) . From another position, hazards could be positive that may ensue in some good things go oning, normally called ‘opportunities’ . And sometimes a good program would be the sort of accelerator which makes the passage from hazards to chances. In the interim a good program should besides name the item information related to the possible crisis and hazard and clear up how to react to them. The subjects addressed in a hazard direction program normally include methodological analysis, functions and duties, budget and agenda ( Horton, 2002 ) . In peculiarly, some volatility classs must be considered, merely like market, fiscal, engineering, employee and so on. As a top direction, they should larn the nucleus of crisis and hazard direction before get downing a program, such as ‘What could go on? ’ , ‘How probably is it to happen’ , and ‘how can you cut down the probability’ . So it is more like a list of inauspicious state of affairss with their replies instead than a program. There are other things directors should pay more attending, which the hazard direction programs need to be done at the first phase in undertaking direction and adjusted or updated at any clip.

As good known, Shell had the most to derive due to the crisis and hazard direction programs. In the early 1970s, the professional contrivers in Shell started to research and discourse the hazard direction and so they formed their ain hazard direction program. This program chiefly focused on the issue like ‘what will we be like in the following 20-30 old ages? ’ and ‘how to do people discourse the things that can non be imagined? ’ In 1972, under the leading of Pierre.Wacker, the squad drew up a program to get by with the energy crisis that could go on in some yearss. They were afraid of that one twenty-four hours oil companies in western states would lose controls on oil addendums. And they should be after what will go on and how to fight with it. Certain plenty, the 1970s oil dazes transformed the universe economic system. When OPEC announced the policy of oil trade stoppage, most oil companies suffered immense losingss, but Shell became the lone 1 that could defy this crisis because of its well prepared. Since so, Shell has jumped to the second of the biggest oil companies. In 1986, before the monetary value of oil prostration, Shell saw the crisis once more and planned to give up the acquisition on other little oil companies, halt spread outing their production. After the monetary value of oil diminution, Shell spent the least money in purchasing a big figure of oil Fieldss. A series of hazard direction programs kept Shell keeping the monetary value advantage in the following 20 old ages. However, Motorola is non so lucky. As a leader of phone shapers, it has been history. It is the deficiency of programs to get by with challenges in the market that leads to the failure. Motorola got over-confident without any sense of crisis or hazard direction programs. When other rivals rushed into the market with their hi-tech productions, Motorola was non prepared for this transmutation, and still insisted on their ain manner. Actually, it would be an chance if foreseen the 3G Mobile phone, but Motorola was non be cognizant of that. Finally they can non avoid this crisis or turned this menace into advantage and started to waver.

  1. Scenario planningandCrisis and Risk direction programs

Scenario planning and crisis and hazard direction programs have been discussed individually, so the relationship between them would be the following subject. Scenario planning as a manner of foretelling the hereafter is a footing for developing crisis and hazard direction programs. To complete a hazard direction program, directors must make scenario planning to anticipate the possible hazards. Each possible hereafter scenario could be listed, including both hazard and chance, analyses their chances and so discourse on how to cover with them ( Irimia-Dieguez, et al. , 2014 ) . Once it is done, the initial hazard direction program has been developed. In other words, the scenario planning is more like a tool of hazard direction program. There is another function for the scenario planning that is a nexus between concern scheme and hazard direction program ( Coppendale, 1995 ) . Combined with the bing scheme and intrinsic belongingss, it is easier to aim the existent crisis and hazard that may go on in future, and develop a practical crisis and hazard direction program. So the scenario planning is the binder for concern scheme and hazard direction program.

Most organisations would pay more attendings on ‘How to develop crisis and hazard direction plans’ . Of class, under the aid of scenario planning, it will make more with less. There are chiefly four stairss to develop the crisis and hazard direction programs. First, indentify hazards from the treatment of scenario planning sing future events. Meanwhile, it is necessary to bespeak the possible events might ache or heighten a peculiar undertaking in a hazard direction program. Second, analyses hazards utilizing perennial inquiries and responses merely like brainstorming that is the same manner as scenario planning do ( Eberlein, et al. , 2002 ) . So it is much easier to analyze accurately if refer to the decision from scenario planning. Please note that it would be better if rank the hazards. A list marked with high or low precedence for possible hazards will assist teams make a professional hazard direction program ( Irimia-Dieguez, et al. , 2014 ) . And so do schemes for these hazards that have been listed, including extenuation steps and exigency steps. The extenuation step is to cut down the possibility of hazard, while the exigency step aims at minimising losingss when hazard occurs. The scenario planning could be used for measuring the extenuation or exigency steps and rearranging the hazards. At the terminal, a undertaking director need to supervise hazards in the procedure of undertakings, and the specific stairss used for supervising undertaking hazards should be recorded in a hazard direction program, such as assignments to hazard directors and duty for position updates ( Coppendale, 1995 ) . Whether scenario planning or hazard direction programs, the intent of them is to assist organisations to take their appropriate determinations. In this manner, directors could accomplish the ends that minimize possible negative hazards, at the same clip, maximise possible positive hazards.

However, everything ever works two sides: scenario planning besides has restrictions of itself. Scenarios are merely some thoughts, and thoughts are hard to pass on with other people ( Ringland and Schwartz, 1998 ) . Without effectual communicating, it is difficult to implement in pattern. Execution is the psyche of each program. If the scenario planning is wholly out of an execution, it is merely a planning or even a sweet dream. In add-on, the usage of analytical tools has restrictions, demoing up in informations collected and the subjective nature. Both internal and external environment are altering fast, so the restrictions of current cognition and engineering are shackles for calculating the selling. Furthermore, to research market and roll up informations will inevitable cost much clip and manpower that can non be afforded by some little companies. There is another concern that if anything goes incorrect or any possible hazards unanticipated, it would floor the company to a great extent. As the organisations thought they had been good prepared for confronting each crisis and hazard, the over-confident makes them careless when the market is altering out of control. It is hard to be cognizant of non-sensible subconscious for the organisations.

A better pick is to associate scenario to strategic planning ( Ringland and Schwartz, 1998 ) and risk direction planning. By standing on the point of whole company scheme, put scenario planning into pattern together with strategic planning. Although the scenario planning is an thought discussed by the undertaking squads, it is non airy or a game. So the scenario planning is merely considered as a tool for both strategic planning and hazard direction program that indicate the clear assignment and duty. With a clear assignment and duty, it is much easier to implement in pattern for directors and communicate with his squad members ( Ringland and Schwartz, 1998 ) . Furthermore, as a successful executive officer, it is really indispensable to maintain thought refresh. Either scenario planning or hazard direction programs is non invariable. They need to be adjusted and updated as the development of market, particularly in a dynamic information engineering sector. For those little companies, they could engage some professional squads to carry through the scenario planning or hazard direction programs. The low-cost is good for the development of those fledgling. The last point is that maintain a clear caput and ne’er faux pas at any clip. ‘Be vigilant in peace time’ is ever a adage for most organisations.

  1. Decisions

Scenario planning is popular with more and more companies. Most of them would wish to keep a regular treatment conference to conceive of scenarios that may go on in future. The squads will name each hazard or chance and believe out different schemes to copy. So the scenario planning is a footing for crisis and hazard direction and aid organisations to be equipped before a war. There should besides be a hazard direction program, so that crisis and hazard direction could travel good. Refers to the scenarios, the hazard direction programs could place and analyses crisis better. Please note that non all hazards need to be eliminated. With the aid of a good program, the hazards could besides be transformed into chances. In add-on, the assignments and duties must be clarified clearly in this program, besides crisis and hazards may confront. In drumhead, scenario planning is an effectual manner for organisations to sanely see possible hereafters and to take appropriate determinations, and there is besides no doubting its importance to develop the crisis and hazard direction programs, although there are some restrictions. As an first-class director, the sense of crisis and hazard is indispensable. The more of import is to utilize this accomplishment in ‘the right time’ with right manner.


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Linneman, R. E. and Klein, H. E. ( 1983 ) . ‘The usage of multiple scenarios by united-states industrial companies: A comparing survey, 1977–1981.Long Range Planning, 16, p.94–101.

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