Ascertaining a hierarchy of dimensions from time-poor experts: Linking tactical vignettes to strategic scenarios
Many organisations define or express their strategic direction through strategic scenarios, which typically lack the detail for operational or tactical decisions. However such decisions need to be consistent with the organisation's overall strategic direction. We present a method for defining a dimensional hierarchy of important variables at the strategic, operational and tactical levels and illustrate this method with a case study. Achieving a set of dimensions as comprehensive as possible requires the saturation of ideas from all relevant expert groups. Unfortunately, access to experts may be limited and sporadic. We facilitate expert participation through an online, iterative, Delphi-like structured group technique allowing asynchronous access from many separate locations. Inter-round thematic analysis removes duplicate argumentation, standardises language conventions and builds a hierarchy of important variables: strategic dimensions; operational components; and tactical elements. Iteration allows experts to assess and alter these themes. Anonymity and thematic de-duplication allow merit-based discussion by masking the status and numbers of advocates. In our case study, sixty-nine experts developed a hierarchical dimensionalisation of future Australian Army deployment contexts over three rounds with a total median time commitment of less than 3 h per expert.