Continuous adaptation of the process

Online Foresight Guide

A Foresight process is likely to require continuous adaptation in response to changing perceptions, insights, pressures and needs. In anticipation of this, flexibility needs to be built into the implementation plan.

The main adaptations/changes that are likely to arise relate to:

Demands from participants

During implementation, it will often be the case that participants articulate demands or exert pressures on the process that were not initially foreseen in the plan. Although it will not always be possible to meet all these demands it is essential to the success of the project to consider them carefully. This will increase the sense of ownership among participants and therefore the likeliness that the results will be useful for and used by a wide range of actors.

Needs of the clients

A good project is ultimately a project that serves clients' needs, whether they were implicit or explicit at the outset. Accordingly, the process should be managed in order to fulfil these needs even if they are changing along the process. Understanding and meeting the needs of the client the more likely it is that decision making and action will results from the exercise, which is one of the characteristic objectives of Foresight.

Beware of becoming subordinated to short-term information needs

While it is important to address the needs of user groups, participants and client to maximise the benefits from the exercise, there is also a danger that the process might become subordinated to the short-term information needs of the sponsors or the institutions involved. The challenge consists therefore in preserving an equilibrium between the orientation towards action and the need to be thinking 'out of the box', i.e. the creative side of the exercise.



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