Unwelcome surprises in the life of any organization can often be traced to the failure of an assumption that the organization's leadership didn't anticipate or had 'forgotten' it was making. Assumption-based planning (ABP) is a tool for identifying as many as possible of the assumptions underlying the plans of an organization and bringing those assumptions explicitly into the planning process. This book presents a variety of techniques for rooting out those vulnerable, crucial assumptions. The book also presents steps for monitoring all the vulnerable assumptions of a plan, for taking actions to control those vulnerable assumptions where possible, and for preparing the organization for the potential failure of those assumptions where control is not possible. The book provides a variety of examples and practical advice for those interested in carrying out an application of ABP in the fields of business, management, strategic planning, engineering, and in military applications.
• Book ideal for MBA/master's/doctorate courses in business planning, strategic management • Author internationally known in corporate, not-for-profit and US government circles • Full of examples for business, non-military, and military applications
1. The essence of assumption-based planning; 2. A taxonomy of assumptions; 3. Step 1: identifying assumptions; 4. Step 2: identifying load-bearing, vulnerable assumptions; 5. Step 3: identifying signposts; 6. Step 4: developing shaping actions; 7. Step 5: developing hedging actions; 8. The art of conducting ABP; 9. Beyond ABP as a post-planning tool.
'… an impressively flexible and pragmatic approach makes extensive use of scenarios. In my view this is one of the most useful methods for stress-testing a plan … the process spelt out in the book can be applied to all fields of planning and Dewar utilises his real world experience to suggest different methods for implementing the five steps of ABP. This pragmatic approach makes the book very useful for practitioners …'. The Business Economist