Building sound and plausible scenarios is a challenging task that needs to follow a structured
process. However, before describing the scenario building itself, one should first identify the
purpose that the creation of scenarios fulfills. Academics usually distinguish between three
purposes which scenarios can accomplish:
First, scenarios are used as a onetime activity to predict and evaluate a specific, already
defined strategic plan of action.
Second, scenarios are used as a onetime activity to support and enhance a specific
strategic planning process including related decisions.
Third, scenarios are used from a onetime activity to an ongoing course of action within an
organization’s strategic planning process supporting the way in which an organization
learns (Bradfield, Wright, Burt, Cairns and van der Heijden, 2005).
What all three purposes have in common, however, is that scenarios enable managers to be
better prepared for strategic decisions, especially in times of increased volatility and