Analyze your drivers and scenarios.
Scenarios Matrix tool was designed to examine a full-range of possible futures. It’s a simple matrix with major drivers listed down the left-hand column and different scenarios going across the top.
To create a Scenarios Matrix:
Step 1: List your major drivers down the left-hand column (see diagram below). These are the Forces, Factors, and events (see Chronology) that will influence future outcomes. Keep it simple – start with 5 to 10 drivers.
Step 2: In the columns of your matrix, list your scenarios. Across the top of the matrix write your: 'best case' scenario, 'worst case', 'most probable case', and any other possible scenarios. Also add a brief description to each of your scenario to your column headings.
Step 3: Assign a different value to each driver/scenario pairing. You can use a simple plus/minus system: use a bold plus (+) for a 'strong positive' influence, plus (+) for 'positive', blank for 'neutral', minus (-) for 'negative', and bold minus (-) for 'strong negative'.
Analysis of your Scenario Matrix:
- Which drivers will influence how the situation develops?
- Challenge your key assumptions for your most likely outcomes.
- Determine what is 'observable' along the developmental paths leading to each outcome.
- Are there Indicators or 'turning points' that can be monitored for signs that a scenario may becoming more or less likely?
- Do any of your scenarios have high impact but low probability? Are you prepared for these 'wild card' outcomes?
The Scenario Matrix gives you a chance to rehearse a broad range of outcomes. Being prepared for all possible outcomes can provide you with an awareness and agility that you can use to exploit opportunities and mitigate risks.
Diagram of a Scenarios Matrix:
Structured Analytic Techniques for Intelligence Analysis, Richards Heuer, Jr. and Randolph H. Pherson, Washington DC: CQ Press, 2011.