We illustrate how the combination of both ‘backward-looking’ and ‘forward-looking’ perspectives serves as a powerful catalyst for profitable exploration. The phrase ‘backward-looking’ refers to a company's discipline to rapidly learn from their past performance. The process utilizes tracking predictive performance to focus on patterns from exploration parameter results relative to forecasts. The learnings are implemented through technology applications and improved forecasts that can lead ultimately to a more predictive (i.e. calibrated) portfolio. This discipline may be viewed as time-consuming, but is a critical part of the role of a professional. Often we observe that a calibrated state of accurately estimating the chance of success was achieved before a company reached a calibrated state of prospect pre-drill size prediction. The phrase ‘forward-looking’ here refers to a company's ability to conduct three tasks. First, exploration from a play perspective that quantifies candidate plays in a comparative sense. Second, integrate quantitative play analysis and an understanding of their risk-tolerance levels in order to build comprehensive models of how different plays can compete to best accomplish the goals of corporate strategy. Third, to apply the same discipline of unbiased, calibrated estimation to the characterization of prospects as they are technically matured to the drill-ready state.