The FuturesToolkit of the UK Local Government Association
The FuturesToolkit was commissioned by the UK Local Government Association, for
the purpose of shifting local government activites from reaction to anticipation. There
are several related documents in the toolkit, collected at the
Association web site. The methodology document  contains
a step-by-step description of scenario development. It also includes descriptions
of alternatives futures techniques, with their pros and cons, and is well worth reading.
A group or groups of six to ten participants, who should include the users of the scenarios
The authors suggest allocating two to three days, or a series of half-day sessions for
the facilitator and the participants to meet and work. They also remind the facilitator
that some means of recording the proceedings is a necessity.
Decide on the system or area of concern the scenarios will be about.
Decide on the timeframe for the scenarios. The timeframe should be short
enough to be a reasonably foreseeable future, but long enough to encompass
significant changes that are expected to impinge on the area of concern.
Decide how many scenarios you want. (The authors suggest two to four.)
Identify the driving forces. That is, identify the factors that are important
in influencing the future of the area of concern.
Analyze the driving forces. The authors suggest categorizing driving forces by
whether they are high or low uncertainty and high or low impact:
high uncertainty/high impact: pivotal uncertainties
high uncertainty/low impact: potential jokers (or wildcards)
low uncertainty/high impact: significant trends
low uncertainty/low impact: context-shapers
[There is a missing step in the original document, due to printing problems. Apparently,
in this step the user develops and runs a model to build a baseline scenario.]
Rerun the model with a range of different future values and assumptions.
Create a working title for each scenario, both as a useful shorthand and to aid adoption
by the group.
Draft each scenario. Bear in mind that they must be credible, useful and intelligible. Be
prepared to make several drafts.
Apply scenarios to decisions.
Identify a particular issue or area in which you need to make a decision
Try to test how robust your options are against the range of scenarios
Consider potential decisions against the scenarios, to ask, What if we
pursued that strategy in that world?
Use a matrix of potential decisions against the scenarios to identify robust options
Always be aware that there may be other significant factors that the scenarios exclude