Planning for Uncertainties

Uncertainties occur when we have to decide NOW based on information we will not have until some future time. We need to plan for and live with multiple futures.

Solution Outline
  • Alternate but relevant futures are richly defined
  • There is a plan for tracking the unfolding future, for deciding which scenario is becoming the most likely
  • Problem solvers remain engaged in the exploration of best solutions
  • As the future emerges, the problem resolves into one of the other 5 types

How To Get There
  • Define the problem
  • Identify key variables that define relevant scenarios
  • Imagine scenarios
  • Find commonalities
  • Build indicators
  • Watch indicators
  • Monitor and react

People struggling with significant uncertainties are often seen as "wishy-washy" or "unable to settle"; there is frequently a pressure to declare your best guess and stop worrying about every possible contingency. It is a misguided desire for clarity when there is none, where the lack of clarity is the fundamental issue in the problem.