23.4. Forecasting Techniques

One will find that there are numerous forecasting techniques available. Among the multiple ways in which to categorize these techniques, one way is to organize new product forecasting techniques into the three categories of judgmental techniques, quantitative techniques, and customer/market research techniques. Figure 23.1 presents the more popular techniques associated with each of these three categories.

Judgmental techniques represent techniques that attempt to turn experience, judgment, and intuition into formal forecasts. Six popular techniques within this category include jury of executive opinion, sales force composite, scenario analysis, the Delphi method, decision trees, and assumptions-based modeling:

  • Jury of executive opinion: A top-down forecasting technique where the forecast is arrived at through the ad-hoc combination of opinions and predictions made by informed executives and experts.

  • Sales force composite: A bottoms-up forecasting technique where individuals (typically salespeople) provide their forecasts. These forecasts are then aggregated to calculate a higher-level forecast.

  • Scenario analysis: An analysis involving the development of scenarios to predict the future. Two types of scenario analysis include the exploratory and normative approaches. Exploratory scenario analysis starts in the present and moves out to the future based on current trends. Normative scenario analysis leaps out to the future and works back to determine what ...

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