Strengths and limitations

Strengths of scenario analysis:

  • Scenarios are often the only way to deal with the unknown future;
  • Assumptions about future developments are made transparent and documented
  • Gives insight in key factors that determine future developments;
  • Creates awareness on alternative development paths, risks, and opportunities and possibilities for policies or decision-making.

Weaknesses of scenario analysis are:

  • The analysis is limited to those aspects of reality that can be quantified (quantitative scenarios)
  • Difficult to test underlying assumptions (qualitative scenarios)
  • Frequently scenarios do not go beyond trend extrapolation (quantitative scenarios);
  • Frequently scenarios are surprise-free;
  • Frequently models used contain only one view, which will make the outcomes narrow in scope, thus not doing justice to the wish to explore fundamentally different futures