Integration Problems Shoemaker (1990) lists a number of potential pitfalls that can be experienced when attempting to do scenario planning for business. These pitfalls stem from two primary sources: process problems in the activities related to scenario development that unfold and build over time and problems with the quality of the content of the scenarios themselves. Process problems include issues related to the failure to integrate the scenarioplanning process into the other activities of the organization. For example, as with any organizational change activity, the failure to gain the support and involvement of top management early in the scenarioplanning process can derail the process before it even begins. If top management is not a stakeholder in the process and its outcomes, it is unlikely that the process will receive either the resources or support necessary from other stakeholders. Similarly, even if the scenarioplanning process leads to valid and important predictions that require changes in the way that the organization does business, if top management is not vested in the process and its outcomes, it is unlikely that these will be acted upon. In addition, when doing scenario planning, it is important to remember that these activities are only one part of the overall planning and decisionmaking processes within the organization. Activities such as risk assessment and simulation can help integrate the scenarioplanning process into the overall organizational decision analysis process. Incomplete Inputs A second category of process pitfalls in scenario planning is an outgrowth of the failure to include all the necessary inputs into the mix when developing scenarios. Scenarios are typically centered on external changes, so it is important to get the inputs of representatives of the communities that may affect change in the future (e.g., customers, suppliers, government regulators, academics, and other analysts) to provide their insights to the process. Similarly, it is important to secure the support of both line and staff members in the scenarioplanning process. These two groups of people view the organizational universe through different lenses, and the inputs of both are needed. There is often an unfortunate tendency to emphasize the inputs
of staff members. However, although staff personnel may understand the "big picture" better, it is the line personnel who understand the minutia of organizational operations that can make an organizational plan a success or failure. It is important to have both line and staff personnel equally involved in the scenarioplanning process. Misunderstandings Another cluster of potential pitfalls related to process issues in scenario development arises from a lack of understanding of the scenarioplanning process and its outcomes. Some organizations, for example, enter into scenario planning without a clear understanding of the process and roles of the various participants in the process. Scenario planning is typically a time
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