Not all Plans are Good Plans

person wearing smartwatch
            (Shaabana, 2019)

            Organizational planning is important aspect of ensuring that the right goals are set, and opportunities are being sought out.  Scenario planning is used to help an organization account for “what if” situations in a flexible manner that looks at a complex set of forces to help determine a course of action (Brockwell, Davis, & Calder, 2002).  The process of scenario planning is designed to help organizations select the right approach to a business path to follow, but this does not always lead to positive outcomes.

When Plans Go Wrong

            A drawback of scenario planning is the number of resources needed to pursue all potential courses of action.  These resources consist of time, money, and personnel needed to run through all scenarios that might exist (Hagel, 2014). In some cases, scenario plans may be bias based on management decisions that are swayed in identifying critical uncertainties, key factors, and forces around a focal issue (Ogilvey, 2015).    Government regulations, laws, technological advancements, and economic forces that were not accounted for at any time could make scenario plans turn out to be wrong (Hagel, 2014).  According to McKinsey (2015), scenario planning failures stem from organizational inabilities to properly take part in the activity.

Impact Example

In 2013, Intel formed a new devices group that was established to focus on products like fitness trackers and smart glasses (Langley, 2018).  The Intel group made most of its contributions through partnerships with other companies such as Oakley, Tag Heuer, and other fashion designers (Langley, 2018).  Without much success in this area, Intel had laid off over 80% of the team according to CNBC in 2017 (Langley, 2018). In 2014, this team did introduce a smartwatch capable of lasting 3-4 days between charges, tracking heart rate, and knowing when you started and stopped exercise (Langley, 2018). Eventually, Intel had to recall these devices due to them overheating (Langley, 2018).


At the time Intel was moving into the wearables market it the size of the market space was still small. There were several companies trying to get established and develop wearable devices that could be connected without knowing how consumers would adopt them.  Today, wearable adoption has grown there are a number of devices available that many of us use from day to day.  From a sociotechnical perspective, however, what needs further development and understanding is how these devices can be better integrated.  Wearables provide the ability for us to quantify our lives but the disparity between how the data is integrated limits our ability to get a completely accurate picture. For example, when a fitness tracker has to be charged and a consumer carries their phone to track steps, heart rate, and other activities. It is likely if these are from different manufacturers the data will not be integrated.


Social forces have been a big driver in the adoption of wearable technology. The ability to connect with friends via social media and compete in daily activities have helped grow the adoption of these devices.  Having a fitness tracker has also become a social norm those in fitness groups and in some cases even a fashion statement.

Technological forces have been a big driver as IoT capabilities have expanded in recent years. The ability to create devices that can last longer between charges, collect more data, and track more information about our day to day activities. As technology continues to evolve the ability to better connect each type of device will further enable the ability to integrate these IoT devices.


            Scenario planning does not always lead to successful outcomes. Organizations such as Intel may have great concepts and ideas to foster the growth of certain technologies but don’t always succeed at doing so.  Since Intel’s attempt in the wearable industry the market has grown significantly and still has much room for continued advancement and growth or someone to come in and integrate IoT device data in a platform and device-agnostic manner.




Brockwell, P. J., Davis, R. A., & Calder, M. V. (2002). Introduction to time series and
forecasting (Vol. 2). New York: springer.

Erdmann D., Sichel, B., Yeung, L. (2015). Overcoming obstacles to effective scenario planning.
McKinsey & Company. Retrieve from

Hagel, J. (2014). How to better connect planning, forecasting, and budgeting. Journal of
Accountancy, 217

Langle, H. (2018) Intel leaves behind a string of wearable failures – and some great experiments.  Retrieve from

Ogilvey, J (2015).  Scenario planning and strategic forecasting.  Forbes.  Retrieved from

Shaabana, N. (2019). A person wearing smartwatch. Unsplash. Retrieved from

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *