what is it
While a standard system or ecosystem map displays the entire functioning of a system within a single synthetic representation (synchronic), the system scenarios introduce a dynamic level of analysis (diachronic), applying the lense of time and showing the possible variations that could take place. In this way, system scenarios provide a deeper level of analysis of the system, directed at understanding system dynamics and relations between actors in various conditions. Building a system scenario requires observing different behaviours of the system and analyzing the actors responsible for them, and allows to make detailed considerations around what could be designed or improved in the system to support different conditions.
use it to
Analyze how different actors within the system get activated in various situations, in a certain sequence.
Extract a clear story of the system you want to tell and not overcomplicate the graphical representation.
step by step guidelines
Identify the key scenarios that may take place and affect the development of the system.
Identify the main actors involved in the unfolding of that scenario, and prioritise those over the others.
Draw the connections between actors representing the exchange flows that are being activated in a sequence of events describing the selected scenario.
Extract considerations related to pain points and opportunities, also considering that the same actors could be involved in multiple scenarios and behave differently in each of them.