Work backwards to get to the present.


Backcasting is a long-term planning. Unlike forecasting, which tries to predict the future based on current analysis, backcasting starts with vision. Then, as the name suggests, you work backwards to the present day.


Backcasting is a visual activity. Teams typically diagram the activity on a large whiteboard or wall. With remote teams, MURAL works great as a platform with teams to collaborate visually.


The process is simple: 

  1. Add an overarching challenge statement.
    At the top, provide the challenge and content about the problem space you’re working in.
  2. Envision future states and record them on the right.
    Think 10 years out or more. To prepare for this you might want to review trends and look at what others are saying about the future of your field. You can either define one ideal future per functional areas of your organization or add 2-3 alternative futures for a single area.
  3. Add actions and assumptions year by year, from right to left.
    Think about what would need to happen to reach the possible future. Record actions and assumptions as you move from right to left. (NOTE: add or remove years in advance depending on your timeframe. The template, below, assumes 20 years in the future).
  4. Plan for tomorrow.
    Reflect on the actions and assumptions that are 1-2 years in the future. Create a list of near-term goals, and plan the next steps how to reach them. Record them in the Key Take-Aways section at the bottom. 


Click on the template below to get started.


[TEMPLATE] Backcasting Template by Jim Kalbach


Open to create a mural from this template in your workspace. Powered by MURAL

Learn about how we did this in an interview with Ephraim Bhatoo, Manager of Workforce Planning at Disney, here on our blog. 

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