Monday, July 6, 2009

Scenario planning - organizational alignment

Re WSJ scenario planning article today…

In my experience the greatest value of scenario planning is organizational alignment. Rarely, otherwise, do all the necessary players across levels get together with enough time ( a measure of commitment), information and good will. Better yet, and increasingly important as businesses outsource "non-core" work, it really helps to invite allies like business partners, strategic suppliers and consultants and even customers, trusted outside subject matter experts. Make sure naysayers are heard. Make sure the final decision maker is there participating for key parts of the event including wrap-up. This exercise transcends writing many documents, making many presentations in its speed and impact - although it makes those documents and presentations better.

Benefits I've seen happen within hours with impacts in the 100 millions to billions of dollars.

1) Strategic marketing adjustment to focus on price/access determining channel vs. physicians in a pharmaceutical business probably a year faster than otherwise. (30 people, 1 day, 100 effort hours prep time)
2) Redefining a market segment(s) & product positioning from unique benefit x to a constellation of benefits the consumer really judged important as did many subject matter experts. Completely expanded our view of competitive set and how to win. (30 people, 1 day, 100-200 effort hours prep time)
3) Redefining role of sales vs. scientific liaison on pharmaceutical market to match market norm took 4 hours of meeting time with 15 people and had prep time of perhaps 20 hours. Critical to success of new product launch. Also occurred very quickly vs. developing case studies to illustrate same.


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