How do I run this play?
6–8 45–6 minutes Easy
As a group, select a topic or issue to be investigated. Have a brief discussion about the issue and clarify objectives of the workshop.
Using Post-It notes, individually brainstorm ideas, issues, and opportunities, and organise your ideas from most certain to occur to least certain.
Then, as a group, decide which ideas can be placed at the extremes of the Uncertainty axis on the Uncertainty Impact Mapping canvas. This becomes your boundary and sets the relative range of uncertainty for the rest of your ideas. If any ideas are similar, group them together.
Now that you have arranged your ideas on the canvas, you will need to:
- Assess impact
With the understanding of the relative range of uncertainty of the issue, as a group discuss what impact each idea has on your organisation and identify which ideas can be placed at the extremes of the Impact axis. Similar to the previous step, this forms the range of impact for your ideas. Rearrange your Post-It notes relative to the established boundaries along each axis.
- Assess the patterns
When assessing the patterns for this play and possible actions, it helps to break it into the following quadrants:
Low Impact | Less Certain
Assess the options as these opportunities are building blocks for the long term and will be profitable and useful even if they have a low impact.
High Impact | Less Certain
There are two possible strategic responses:
- Watch, monitor and wait until there is more clarity over time.
- Scan the environment, undertake small experiments to test and probe the situation.
Low Impact | More Certain
Watch, monitor and wait and see if anything changes.
High Impact | More Certain
These ideas are low risk and it is best to develop a strategic plan as a response to act on these opportunities.
Least certainDegree of uncertaintyMore certain
LowLevel of impactHigh
Finally, as a group, discuss and identify what patterns have emerged and how the ideas, concepts, issues, and opportunities are distributed across the canvas.
The Uncertainty Impact Mapping Canvas and Facilitation Guide by Aurecon is licensed under CC BY 4.0
Do your research!
You may have a group that comes from different backgrounds and might not be aware of the issue. Bring them up to speed by inviting speakers, create some pre-reading, ask participants to undertake some homework beforehand.
Prioritise and test assumptions
You can use this time to prioritise options, issues, or areas of focus, but you may need to do some research and test assumptions before deciding where to focus.