Implementation checklists help to scope the challenges and possible solutions before taking a step towards the unknown

Uses of the method

  • Early planning tool for change projects


  • Fast. low cost understanding of the questions that need answering
  • Valuable method to ensure that all the relevant issues have been considered
  • Can be used by both individual analysts and teams
  • Can be kept up-to-date as the future unfolds


  • May be incomplete if not used with other methods or iterations do not go deep enough.
  • May not identify all the key issues

Steps to complete
Consider each of the aspects of change below and try to see the issues you will face in implementing your ideas.

  • Fit: does this proposal move the organization where it needs to be in the future from where it is now?
  • Opportunity: list all the key benefits that would accrue from this proposal
  • Energy: describe how this proposal will inspire, engage and enable at least 5% of key people in the early stages and rapidly attract others
  • Stakeholders: describe who is likely to win or lose with this proposal and how the maximum commitment to success can be achieved.
  • Trial: describe how you could learn about and improve the proposal pre launch
  • Scale: detail how this proposal can grow to be a key part of the organizations's strategy
  • Competencies: which competencies will be required and where can you find them?
  • Resources: are the resources (time, personnel, equipment, money, information) sufficient for executing this idea?
  • Motivation, are there others with equal motivation and commitment required for successful implementation?
  • Resistance: is the idea likely to come across any ‘closed thinking’ and/or resistance to change in general?
  • Procedures, are there any procedural complications to get over
  • Structures: are there any structural obstacles to surmount (e.g. bad communication channels)?
  • Policies: What official/unofficial policies need to be overcome?
  • Risk: will risk taking be tolerated by those responsible for implementation and if so to what level?
  • Power: do any power struggles exist relating to the idea that might obstruct implementation?
  • Clashes: are there any clashes of personalities that may hinder advancement in the implementation?
  • Climate: is the organizational environment one of teamwork and co-operation or suspicion and distrust?
  • Outcome: can the organization change and under what circumstances?
  • Sparks: what energizes you to put your heart and soul into this proposal?
  • Flames: what would keep you awake at night?
  • Determine the fixed factors (almost certain hard trends) that will inform your strategic response: slow-changing phenomena e.g. demographic shifts, constrained situations e.g. resource limits, in the pipeline e.g. aging of baby boomers, inevitable collisions e.g. climate change arguments.
  • Capture variable factors: critical uncertainties i.e. variables, soft trends and potential surprises. Both these and the fixed elements will be key to creating scenarios and examining potential future paradigm shifts.
  • Capture unique insight into new ways of seeing that can be utilized by the organization. What are the advantages and disadvantages?
  • What conclusions can we draw from the exercise(s)?
    • How might the future be different?
    • How does A affect B?
    • What is likely to remain the same or change significantly?
    • What are the likely outcomes?
    • What and who will likely shape our future?
    • Where could we be most affected by change?
    • What might we do about it?
    • What don't we know that we need to know?
    • What should we do now, today?
    • Why do we care?
    • When should we aim to meet on this?
  • Finish by noting your next steps. Next steps could include a further round of iteration, a recommendation on how to get the answers or use of other research and methods such as 'Starburst' to create more vantage points on the issue. Repeat the exercise from a different perspective e.g., taking a negative view or an unusual position, or from the viewpoint of another stakeholder.

This method and your response can be shared with other members or kept private using the 'Privacy' field and through the 'Tag', 'Report' and 'Forum' functionalities. Use 'Tag' and/or 'Report' to aggregate your analyzes, or add a 'Forum' to ask others where they agree/disagree and encourage them to make their own analysis from their unique vantage point.

Click the 'Invite tab to send invitations to other members or non-members (colleagues, external experts etc.) to ask for their input. You can whether or not you want anonymous responses.  These can be viewed and exported within the Responses tab.

Further reference

This method was suggested by Arthur Gundy in his 1998 book: Creativity Methods. Techniques of Structured Problem Solving

Contact us
Even with all the advice and tools we have provided here starting a foresight project from scratch can be a daunting prospect to a beginner. Let us know if you need help with this method or want a group facilitation exercise or full project or program carrying out by us. We promise to leave behind more internal knowledgeable people who can expand your initiative for better organizational performance.

Contact us today for a free discussion on your needs.

Are there other enhancements or new methods you would like to see here? Let us know and we will do our best to respond with a solution quickly.

Some rights reserved. This particular part of the website is licensed under a Creative Commons License.