By James A. Dewar
Unwelcome surprises within the lifetime of any association can frequently be traced to the failure of an assumption that the organization's management did not expect or had "forgotten". Assumption-based making plans (ABP) is a device for picking out as many as attainable assumptions underlying the plans of a firm and bringing them explicitly into the making plans approach. This publication offers various strategies for rooting out these susceptible, the most important assumptions. It additionally provides steps for tracking the weak assumptions of a plan by way of taking activities to regulate them the place attainable and getting ready for capability failure the place keep an eye on isn't attainable.
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Additional info for Assumption-Based Planning: A Tool for Reducing Avoidable Surprises (RAND Studies in Policy Analysis)
If shaping and hedging actions are infeasible (for whatever reason), it may make sense to replan, using new assumptions. This avoidance of normative labels is a serious effort to bring focus to judgments about assumptions. ” In applications of AssumptionBased Planning that use someone familiar with ABP to assist in the process (what we call a facilitator), having a strong facilitator is the best insurance against the natural tendency to judge the goodness or badness of assumptions. The facilitator may need to step in from time to time if the discussion of assumptions starts to drift to the wild or frivolous.
In this way, ABP does have something to say about planning opportunities. 5 “Worst-case assumptions” is another term for assumptions of this type, because they have generally been deliberately chosen so that the future is very unlikely ever to be worse than that. Assumptions with one-sided vulnerabilities have shown up in all of the plans we have studied, but they are more likely to be found in the plans of what we think of as risk-averse organizations, such as public companies or the military.
Notice that these are all “worst-case” assumptions (or assumptions with one-sided vulnerabilities) in that they are only likely to fail in favor of the organization. ” At this high level of assumptions and actions, it is hard to argue with either response. It is at lower levels of detail in a plan where finding assumptions is generally both more difficult and more fruitful. It is also at lower levels that real planning decisions, or “bets,” are more likely to be made. When the planners make a “bet” on how the future is going to turn out and plan actions based on that bet, they are making an assumption that is likely to have two-sided vulnerabilities.