Chapter 6: Strategic and Scenario Planning Using Delphi: Long-term and Rapid Planning Using the Genius of Crowds
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker®: Vol. II: Research Methodology: 3rd edition


The Delphi Method is a research technique for gathering expert information in multiple rounds of learning to analyze a specific issue and make informed conclusions. Of the many instantiations, including dissertation research and strategic-scenario planning, some of the best uses of the Delphi technique are neglected. This article focused on aspects of planning including how and when planning teams might be engaged. In the normal planning processes–especially horizon, scenario, sustainability, TQM, and disaster recovery planning–planners set triggers to signal that the scenario is about to happen, or has happened. Once the trigger has been tripped, teams must be assembled to review continuity plans and to initiate action. Delphi is a useful planning tool at many stages: up front in the scenario planning process, as well as after the trigger has been tripped. Teams, including Delphi panels, can be used in rapid planning as well. The genius of crowds can be engaged during the planning process and even during an emergency. For these teams to work most effectively, the mechanism for engaging, or re-engaging, the team has to be well developed. Even in academic research, an opt-in mechanism could be–and should be–set to reengaging the team. Every strategic planner and Delphi researcher should read this article.