Internet Field Trip
Environmental scanning refers to the process of scanning the media to identify emerging issues to enable organizations or individuals to anticipate and respond to changes in the external environment. Scanning is meant to provide strategic intelligence to the strategic planning process by identifying changing trends and potential developments, monitoring them, forecasting their future pattern and assessing their impacts. The objective of scanning is to look over the widest range of possible factors and to identify connections with the organization's function or business, and especially to identify the significant ...view middle of the document...
Science fiction writers have sometimes described new technologies with uncanny accuracy. There are many examples where men and women have been remarkable successful at predicting the future. There are also many examples of wrong forecasts. The weakness in genius forecasting is that it’s impossible to recognize a good forecast until the forecast has come to pass. Some psychic individuals are capable of producing consistently accurate forecasts. Mainstream science generally ignores this fact because the implications are simply too difficult to accept. (Glenn, 1994)
A variation of the judgmental approach is consensus forecasting. Here, experts familiar with factors affecting a particular type of revenue meet to discuss near-term conditions in order to reach agreement about what is likely to happen to revenue collections. Forecasting complex systems often involves seeking expert opinions from more than one person. Each is an expert in his own discipline, and it is through the synthesis of these opinions that a final forecast is obtained. One method of arriving at a consensus forecast would be to put all the experts in a room and let them "argue it out". This method falls short because the situation is often controlled by those individuals that have the best group interaction and persuasion skills. (Garrett & Leatherman)
The Delphi Method
Delphi is a method of soliciting and aggregating individual opinions or judgments, typically of a group of experts, to arrive at consensus views concerning such things as what may happen in the future.Also known as the Delphi technique. This method seeks to rectify the problems of face-to-face confrontation in the group, so the responses and respondents remain anonymous. The classical technique proceeds in well-defined sequence. In the first round, the participants are asked to write their predictions. Their responses are collated and a copy is given to each of the participants. The participants are asked to comment on extreme views and to defend or modify their original opinion based on what the other participants have written. Again, the answers are collated and fed back to the participants. In the final round, participants are asked to reassess their original opinion in view of those presented by other participants. The Delphi method general produces a rapid narrowing of opinions. It provides more accurate forecasts than group discussions. Furthermore, a face-to-face discussion following the application of the Delphi method generally degrades accuracy. (Methods and Approaches of Futures Studies)
Cross-impact matrix method
The cross-impact method is an analytical approach to the probabilities of an item in a forecasted set. Its probabilities can be adjusted in view of judgments concerning potential interactions among the forecasted items. We know from experience that most events and developments are in some way related to other events and developments. Relationships...