The current state of scenario development: an overview of techniques

Peter Bishop (Associate Professor at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.)
Andy Hines (Senior Director of Consulting at Social Technologies, Washington, DC, USA.)
Terry Collins (Research Assistant at the University of Houston, Houston, Texas, USA.)


ISSN: 1463-6689

Publication date: 27 February 2007



The paper aims to review all the techniques for developing scenarios that have appeared in the literature, along with comments on their utility, strengths and weaknesses.


The study was carried out through an electronic search using internet search engines and online databases and indexes.


The paper finds eight categories of techniques that include a total of 23 variations used to develop scenarios. There are descriptions and evaluations for each.

Practical implications

Futurists can use this list to broaden their repertoire of scenario techniques.


Scenario development is the stock‐in‐trade of futures studies, but no catalog of the techniques used has yet been published. This list is the start at developing a consensus list of techniques that can be refined as the field matures.



Bishop, P., Hines, A. and Collins, T. (2007), "The current state of scenario development: an overview of techniques", Foresight, Vol. 9 No. 1, pp. 5-25.

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Copyright © 2007, Emerald Group Publishing Limited

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