Visioning and scenario planning

It is not uncommon for project teams to regard the end of their project as the completion of the pilot/trials of their innovations, the project evaluation and writing of papers, without considering:


(a)  How their innovations will be adopted in their institution (and the sector).

(b)  What will be required to motivate staff and students to adopt the innovations.

(c)  What will be the barriers to embedding the innovations.


A useful technique to help project teams to think beyond the end of the project is a “visioning” exercise – a facilitated workshop that aims to help project teams to:



From such a visioning exercise, projects can develop a project sustainability/embedding plan.


A further development of such a visioning exercise is a technique called “scenario planning” – a method for anticipating the future by understanding the nature and impact of various driving forces & creating a series of “different futures”. Scenario planning evolved from uses in corporations such as Shell and is essentially a group process which encourages knowledge exchange, dialogue and widening the participant’s perception of possible future events, particularly where there are complex issues involved.


It can be useful as a technique in relation to embedding innovations where participants in the technique would typically be staff and students within a faculty/school/department.  They would be encouraged to understand institutional/faculty/school/deparmental drivers, changes and trends and to set the adoption of their innovations within the context of these drivers, changes and trends.



JISC infoNet has published guidelines and tools in relation to scenario planning.