Techniques/Methods of Environmental scanning
Environmental scanning is a technique of detail study of the environment. It is done to assess the trend of the environment and prepare the organization accordingly. There are different techniques/methods of environmental scanning. They are discussed below:
(i) Executive opinion method
It is also called executive judgment method. Under this environment is forecasted on the basis of opinion and views of top executives. A panel is formed consisting of these executives.
(ii) Expert opinion method
Under this environment forecasting is based an opinion of outside experts or specialist. The experts have better knowledge about market conditions and customer taste and preferences. This method is similar to executive opinion method. However, it uses external experts.
(iii) Delphi method
This method is extension of expert opinion method. It involves forming a panel of experts and questioning each member of the panel about the future environmental trend. Later, the responses and summarized and returned to the members for assessment. This process continues till the acceptable consensus is achieved.
(iv) Extrapolating method
Under this method, the past information is used to predict the future. Different methods used to extrapolate the future are time series, trend analysis and regression analysis.
(v) Historical analogy
Under this, the environmental trends are analyzed with the help of other trends which are parallel to historical trend.
(vi) Intuitive reasoning
Under this, rational and unbiased intuition is used for environmental scanning. Environmental dynamics are guessed individual judgement. Reliability of this method is questionable.
(vii) Scenario Building
Scenarios are the pictures of possible future. They are built on the basis of time ordered sequence of events that have logical cause and effect relationship with each other. Scenarios are built to address future contingencies.
(viii) Cross-impact matrix
Under this, environmental forecasts through various methods are combined to form and integrated and consistent description of future. Cross impact matrix is used to assess the internal consistency of the forecasts.