Sometimes things just seem to come together… for me, this is the case with backcasting and Amory Lovins.
Recently we discussed backcasting after a colleague (Nikki Roberg) had seen a presentation at the IA Summit in 2007. In this case, backcasting was discussed as another tool or method we could use as IA’s to elicit client needs and set a strategy for success. Personally, I had in mind a client who has a very complex set of business rules which are largely based upon the historical limitations of their AS400. Moving forward (and off of this system) will require extreme change in how they do business to which I thought backcasting exercises may help to sort out the differences between business rules based on smart business versus those based on the past limitations they had faced with their IT options. This would in turn help to create a road map for success that would allow us to work with them more strategically and add value to our services.
Backcasting has its origins, however, in energy planning and sustainability. This makes perfect sense as a match up for strategic project planning in our case as we are all looking at creating sustainable practices and models that can help achieve success. This article paraphrases J. Robinson as later saying “…backcasting is not only about how desirable futures can be attained, but that it can also be used to analyse the degree to which undesirable futures can be avoided or responded to”.
So how do all these things come together for me? Well, I had just happened to be looking at a series of articles in this week’s Economist in which technology and the environment are discussed. Sure enough, there’s an article called “The Frugal Cornucopian” which is all about Amory Lovins.
Now, I’m off to find more articles about backcasting…