Competitive Intelligence What if Analysis

This article was written in 2011. It describes the Competitive Intelligence What if analysis technique and how you can use it. 

“What if analysis” is an excellent Competitive Intelligence and Competitor Analysis technique. Ideal for when you have to tackle a problem, and there are strong views held on either side of the argument. It’s designed to create some clarity over what will or won’t happen. What if analysis does not focus on the consequences but more about how it may happen. 

Why is it a good Competitive Intelligence tool?

What if analysis encourages you to think about how an event might happen. Without judging the likelihood of it happening getting in the way of your analysis. Assess the event’s impact and the potential reason for it to happen, right down to unlikely but possible events. So when you are about to make an informed decision, you have a better understanding of what may happen. 

How to conduct What-If Analysis

  • Write down the agreed line of thinking
  • Brainstorm to find alternative actions which may or may not happen. Ask What if? 
  • Define the logic and evidence to explain how it could happen. Ask What if?
  • Then see what must occur at each stage of the event. 
  • Go through each event, assuming it has taken place. Ask What if?
  • Reverse the event chain of events and look at each stage again.
  • Then identify 2 or 3 possible scenarios which are the most likely to happen. Some will look very plausible. Again, Ask What if?
  • What are the positive and negative consequences of each event?
  • What made the event happen
  • Generate a list of indicators/triggers that will help identify tale-tale starting signs.
  • What is the chain of events which will occur?
  • How will impact on you and your organisation?
  • Regularly track the isolated indicators.

The Competitive Intelligence What if analysis technique

An example to use. What if North Korea launches a nuclear weapon toward Seoul. But there’s a malfunction 30 miles offshore, and it falls harmlessly into the sea? What are the trigger points? What are the possible chain of events?  This article was written in 2011 and describe the Competitive Intelligence What if Analysis and how to use it. 

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