Wind-tunneling is a facilitative method used during a strategic foresight
exercise that helps a group to test how future changes might affect the ability
to deliver a particular project or set of strategic objectives.
Wind-tunneling helps to identify critical planning points where strategy
needs to be flexible and adaptable and what policies may need to be
strengthened. As such, it provides a process for testing different policy
options in diverse possible futures.
When to use it?
Generate / Adapt: Wind-tunneling is likely
most effective when a policy or strategy has been developed but before
How to do it?
Develop scenarios or leverage existing ones;
Clarify the outcome or policy option to be tested—participants must clearly
understand the desired outcome of the project, policy or strategic option to be
tested and ideally the strategy for delivering it.
Examine how the external conditions in each scenario affect delivery of the
desired outcome. Split participants into breakout groups so that one group
examines only one scenario at a time.
Identify the implications for strategy development:
Whether the desired outcome is still achievable and desirable;
Whether the desired outcome needs to be modified in any way;
How the desired outcome should be achieved in this scenario;
How the current strategy for delivery needs to be modified.
Each group should repeat this process until they have had an opportunity to
explore all scenarios.
Harvest overall insights and outcomes from the discussion.
2-20 (with breakout groups no larger
Pros and Cons
Provide the participants with an estimate of how
long the card sort will take before beginning the session to help them better
gauge the required time and effort.