The Art of Strategic Conversation

The ‘Scenario Matrix’ tool is a well-structured, efficient and clear-cut method for developing
four scenarios supported by an influence diagram and a fact sheet. Its main advantages lie
in the logical and quick way in which the scenarios are developed. Thoroughly applying the
tool in an extensive form as it was done in the scenario study on the European Airline
industry takes about five to six man-days plus the resources required for the half to one day
long scenario workshop. Hence the manpower and resources required to apply the tool and
develop extensive scenarios are marginal compared to other scenario development
Nevertheless, applying the tool to the European Airline industry produced some controllable
shortcomings. First, developing four scenarios based on two key uncertainty factors
supported by an extensive list of future developments stemming from the influence diagram
does not guarantee full completeness of the scenarios. Second, despite establishing an
influence diagram checking the authenticity of each influence factor, there remains a certain
danger that logical pitfalls do appear within the scenarios. Even so, when applying the
‘Scenario Matrix’ tool as part of the whole six-step process to scenario-based strategic
planning according to the specifications given in each tool description, the risk of the two
shortcomings appearing is only limited.