Teaching scenario planning: lessons from practice in academe and business

George Wright, George Cairns, Paul Goodwin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

51 Citations (SciVal)


In this paper, we engage with O'Brien's [O'Brien, F.A., 2004. Scenario planning - lessons for practice from teaching and learning. European Journal of Operational Research 152, 709-722] identification of both pitfalls in teaching scenario planning and proposed remedies for these. We consider these remedies in relation to our own experience - based on our practice in both the academic and business arenas - and we highlight further pitfalls and proposed remedies. Finally, we propose the use of "hard" multi-attribute decision analysis as a complement to "soft" scenario planning, in order to allow a more formal method of strategy evaluation against a range of constructed scenarios, This approach is intended to remedy biases that are associated with holistic evaluations - such as lexicographic ranking - where undue attention is paid to particular strategic objectives at the expense of others. From this discussion, we seek to contribute to cumulative refinement of the scenario process.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)323-335
Number of pages13
JournalEuropean Journal of Operational Research
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 1 Apr 2009


  • Strategic planning
  • Decision making
  • Teaching
  • Planning
  • Formal methods
  • Decision theory


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