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What is What-If Sensitivity Analysis
What-If Analysis (WFA, W-I) 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 seeked.

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.

Related terms and methods:

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Last update: 03.08.2015

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