This is another in a series of "blogicles" on how Mess Mapping™ and Resolution Scenario Mapping processes can be used to represent, analyze, evaluate Wicked Problems and then to choose actions that ameliorate the Wicked Problem at hand.
All forms of scenario planning attempt to manage risk by taking into account uncertainty. In some problem domains, the term scenarios refers to alternative forecasts, each based on a different set of assumptions. This use is especially common in problem domains where quantitative modeling prevails: “We expect the price of oil to grow by 10% per year,” or, “We expect CO2 emissions to grow at an annual rate of 3.5% plus or minus .5%.”
Resolution Mapping gives up the idea of a best forecast or predicted future. Instead, Resolution Mapping explicitly incorporates uncertainty by assuming a small number (3-5) of divergent possible outcomes or Endstates. Each Endstate: (1) is a 1 or 2 page, internally coherent description of future conditions; (2) describes an extreme but plausible outcome; and (3) reflects the outcome of diverse forces, drivers, actors, motives, etc.
Note the direction of the arrows in the digram above . They run from the future to the present. Endstates are written as if the future has already happened. As noted, Resolution Mapping is best thought of as a form of simulated hindsight: The future is now; how did the world get to be this way?
This series of blogicles has been jointly authored; our names appear in alphabetical order.
Mess Mapping and Mess Map are trademarks of MacroVU, Inc.
Resolution Mapping is a trademark of Strategy Kinetics, LLC.