Our client was working hard to develop an innovative product for a highly regulated market, a product that promised to be a real game-changer and could disrupt the market.
The client was only about a year away from releasing the product worldwide and there were many unknowns: how would the new device perform? Would customers like it? And what about the regulators?
Our client wanted to be prepared for the product launch as best as possible - but given the many unknowns, it was difficult to know what exactly to prepare for.
We suggested setting up a series of scenario planning workshops - together with the client team, we first identified the key critical factors that would influence the success of the product launch, then we defined a scenario for each of the possible combinations.
During the series of workshops, our clients' team worked through each of the potential scenarios as though it was really going to happen:
Which signposts were indicating that this particular scenario was unfolding?
Which implications would this scenario have on the product launch and the future of the product itself?
How would each of the client's departments be affected?
How could our client best prepare for this particular scenario?
All in all this approach meant that the client was not trying to predict the future, but was anticipating all possible future scenarios and getting prepared for all of them.
By the end of the workshop, our clients were confident that they now knew what they had to do to be prepared.
Interestingly, because the new product was being launched worldwide in very diverse markets, it turned out that each of the scenarios we had discussed in the scenario planning workshop really unfolded somewhere in the world.