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Information Broker

Tool: Situation event planning

Typical use (type of issue/project)

To identify a set of scenarios that may affect the organisation moving forward.

Ease of use rating

Used by

Yourself as an HR professional.

Tips for effective use

Use situation event planning (a macro environment scan) in conjunction with a micro environment scanning tool (like creating client profiles) to gain a full picture of all the scenarios that may affect the organisation in the future.

Signals of successful use

Having identified and planned against the high potential, high impact scenarios in the macro environment that could affect the organisation in the coming years.

Signals of unsuccessful use

Using this tool as more of a tick box exercise than to identify key variables to plan against.

Links to other tools

Current workforce profile, Creating competitor profiles, Future view, Stakeholder engagement.


Situation event planning


  1. Review the different variables within the macro environmental.
  2. List out the threats and opportunity scenarios from each of these variables.
  3. Rate the scenarios on two dimensions; potential impact on the organisation (1-5) and likeliness of occurrence (1-5).
  4. To gain an indication of the importance of each scenario – multiply the potential impact parameter by the likeliness of occurrence parameter.
  5. Select and highlight the top five highest threat/opportunity scenarios.
Threats and opportunities
Economy GDP per capita      
Economic growth      
Unemployment rate      
Consumer and investor confidence      
Inventory levels      
Currency exchange rates      
Merchandise trade balance      
Financial and political health of trading partners      
Balance of payments      
Future trends      
Government Political climate – amount of government activity      
Political stability and risk      
Government debt      
Budget deficit or surplus      
Corporate and personal tax rates      
Payroll taxes      
Import tariffs and quotas      
Export restrictions      
Restrictions on international financial flows      
Legal Minimum wage laws      
Environmental protection laws      
Worker safety laws      
Union laws      
Copyright and patent laws      
Anti-monopoly laws      
Sunday closing laws      
Municipal licences      
Laws that favour business investment      
Technology Efficiency of infrastructure, including roads, ports, airports, rolling stock, hospitals, education, healthcare, communication, and so on      
Industrial productivity      
New manufacturing processes      
New products and services of competitors      
New products and services of supply chain partners      
Any new technology that could impact the company      
Cost and accessibility of electrical power      
Ecology Ecological concerns that affect the firm’s production processes      
Ecological concerns that affect customers’ buying habits      
Ecological concerns that affect customers’ perception of the company or product      
Sociopolitical Demographic factors such as population size and distribution, age distribution, education levels, income levels, ethnic origins, religious affiliations      
Attitudes towards materialism, capitalism, free enterprise, individualism, role of family, role of government, collectivism, role of church and religion, consumerism, environmentalism, importance of work, pride of accomplishment      
Cultural structures including diet and nutrition, housing conditions      
Potential suppliers Labour supply – quantity of labour available, quality of labour available, stability of labour supply, wage expectations, employee turn-over rate, strikes and labour relations, educational facilities      
Material suppliers – quality, quantity, price, and stability of material inputs, delivery delays, proximity of bulky or heavy material inputs, level of competition among suppliers      
Service providers – quantity, quality, price, and stability of service facilitators, special requirements      
Stakeholders Lobbyists      

and then...

  1. For the top five highest threat/opportunity scenarios – identify the necessary interventions required.
Scenarios Interventions

These tables are available as a pdf or Word document.