What-If Analysis, the abbreviation WFA or W-I is used. It is a simple analytical technique used in decision making and risk management. Its principle is based on the search for the potential impacts of selected situations. In essence, it is a structured brainstorming, where within the spontaneous discussion, are sought:
What if analysis is usually attended by a group of experienced people who asks questions or expresses the possible impacts of questions using “what if …”. What-if analysis isn’t internally structured such as some other analytical techniques like HAZOP or FMEA. What-if analysis, on the other hand, is very flexible and can be adapted to the specific purpose. Its objective is to identify problems or dangerous conditions in the process.
Steps of What-If analysis:
- Defining areas of interest
- Defining target interests of the problems (e.g. financial risks, environmental issues, safety at work, etc.)
- Generating questions (if)
- Generating answers (what happens)
- Generating measures on situations (decisions, actions, etc.)
For what to use What-If Analysis in practice?
It is a systematic, but not strictly structured analytical technique, which using a team of experts (experienced people) generates and looks for potential problems, risks and measures to rectify them. Its use is quite versatile and its output is a description of the potential problems and risks, including recommendations on how to prevent them.