The process for strategic problem solving using Structured Democratic Dialogue (SDD)

The phases of an SDD engagementThe phases of an SDD engagement are customized to meet your particular needs regarding the complex situation. To employ Structured Democratic Dialogue (SDD) in a strategic way to make decisions and work toward resolving wicked problems, a four step process illustrated below is often used either in whole or in part. The duration and number of stages depends on whether you want to:

  • Understand your wicked problem,
  • Improve through understanding the problem and planning actions based on this new knowledge, or
  • Create something new by starting with a vision of what ought to be, the understanding the barriers to its attainment, and finally determining the best actions to tackle the barriers.

Scope of Discovery and Co-labs starts with your needs

The steps of a Co-lab

The actual sessions where the stakeholders gather, learn, and explore are termed “Co-laboratories” or “Co-labs” for short. Often these Co-labs follow a similar process over one to two days. A brief summary of the expectations for Co-lab participants is here. Based on the phase of the SDD engagement, this methodology will be adapted as appropriate.

Simplified SDD steps within a typical Co-lab

The exact methodology used in the SDD process is tailored to specific applications as diverse as root cause analysis, and creation and weighting of key performance indicators.