Took The Stage At 5 Yrs Old Magic In Family A Tool For the Future – Assumption-Based Planning

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A Tool For the Future – Assumption-Based Planning

The future is one of the most fascinating and discussed topics today. You can see the future being practiced every day as people plan events and develop business ventures on a global scale. Understanding the future is no longer achieved by performing magic or reading someone’s palm, but is now recognized as a social science that can be identified as strategic foresight, future studies and futures (just to name a few) and becomes instrumental in the development of new concepts and ideas in areas of nanotechnology, neurotechnology, biotechnology and electronic technology of the future.

One of the tools derived from strategic foresight or planning is called Assumption-Based Planning (ABP). This tool can be used to help people and planners from all walks of life recognize and incorporate assumptions into a plan in times of great uncertainty. James Dewar defines ABP as “a tool designed to improve the robustness and adaptability of plans – reducing the number of avoidable surprises in any plan or schedule.” You may be asking yourself at this point how assumption-based planning can work for you for your future ? The key is to know how to recognize assumptions through creative thinking and incorporate them into your plans to avoid surprises that could ruin your plans. This article will show how assumption-based planning can become a tool to bypass the element of surprise and use creative thinking and planning in developing your own ABP.

 

Origin of ABP

The Rand Corporation developed the ABP in 1990 to assist the US military in trend-based planning. James A. Dewar explains that ABP is a “post-planning” tool (recognizing that planning is an iterative process) that focuses on the assumption that there are possibilities in which the plan can fail; preparing for alternatives that affect the already developed plan. “Specifically, ABP is working to reduce the risks that the assumptions present.” The ABP was created as a five-step plan defining the ways in which the plan can fail. Dewar maps out the assumptions below.

          

Step 1 – Supporting and Vulnerable Assumptions – A supporting assumption is like a supporting beam; pull it out and the roof will collapse. A vulnerable assumption is an assumption that could fail during the expected life of the plan. Both of these assumptions can resort to an alternative plan.

Step 2 – In the violated assumption, the hedging action prepares the scheduler for failure.

Step 3 – Signposts – warning signs that can be used to track assumptions that usually cause surprises.

Step 4 – Event Shaping – Help win prerequisites to planners’ satisfaction.

Step 5 – Hedging action – prepares the planner for the possibility that the assumption will fail despite efforts to secure it.

 

Today’s global leaders must consider the ever-changing global environment and incorporate assumptions into their strategic planning. On a personal basis, parents and children can learn to develop an ABP using Dewar’s model that can prepare them to make and incorporate assumptions into developing a future plan for their activities, events, and their future. On a personal level, let’s imagine how ABP can be applied to a family reunion event.

 

Family plan prediction using ABP

Let’s take ABP to a personal level by using the imagination and creativity of family members to plan family gatherings. Imagine your family is planning a family reunion a year from today. This is the plan; you build assumptions into your plan to create a plan that “could” meet the family’s satisfaction. Here are the prerequisites:

  • Consider family members who need to ask employers for time off that employers may not provide.
  • Consider travel costs above a person’s budget.
  • Consider the additional expenses each family will incur if an unexpected emergency occurs and cancels their travel plans.
  • Consider donations needed from each family to cover reunion expenses and the family member who is unable to provide. Will you take their card?
  • Consider the possibility that some family members will cancel at the last minute.
  • Consider family members who do not contribute financially and need to be confronted.
  • Consider whether hotel accommodation meets the standards of family members.
  • Consider whether reunion plans cover all age groups.
  • Consider any health or dietary restrictions.
  • In the event of an emergency, consider available local health professionals.
  • Consider activities for both children and adults.

I believe you are seeing the ABP image. It takes all possible, probable causes and creates hypothetical behaviors and/or actions that could change the strategic plan of foresight. If you write a Dewar model and are a visual learner, the model can be converted into a visible table that can benefit both the planner and the family member. Taking place as part of the envisioning process, ABP helps identify the “what ifs” for ABP reunions. Consider some assumptions in the example below:

  • Carrying capacity vulnerable – The location allows for both indoor and outdoor events
  • Non-functional prerequisites – The site is sensitive to inclement weather and power outages
  • Sign-Post – Family reads reviews from previous customers
  • Shaping Actions – The family asks the location manager to guarantee a generator in the event of a power outage.
  • Backup Action – The family makes a backup generator reservation in the event of a 24-hour cancellation.

 Conclusion

People use ABP on a daily basis and don’t realize the creativity involved in the assumption process. From the personal spectrum to the corporate environment, ABP is an adaptable tool that can benefit those using the plan. Regardless of the structure of the leadership environment, whether top-down or flat initiatives, leaders, business managers and ordinary people can adapt the ABP process into their daily agenda. Cornish wrote about the lessons learned from great explorers like Lewis and Clark in his book, for example. He mentioned how these famous explorers used maps and “hearsay” about the territory to develop their expedition. There may have been a prototype ABP in their plans that allowed them to consider assumptions and work around setbacks to successfully complete their ventures. Be that as it may, they were able to succeed and complete the task at hand.

Can ABP work for you? Do you have the ability and imagination to incorporate notional planning into your daily programs, work plans, strategic plans? The book of Jeremiah, chapter 29, verse 11 in the Old Testament says: “For I know the plans that ‘I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for good and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.’ ..” If we can draw inspiration that our plans can be successful, then tools like ABP can help us make our dreams come true. I like to compare ABP to an apple, you can count the seeds in an apple, but can you count the apples that come from the seeds when they are planted and produce fruit? Creativity and imagination will create the future of successful planning tools.

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