Strategy Development Conferencing

SDC was originally developed by one of our associate organisations MSL, whilst working with the MOD in the 90s. The technique is based upon a combination of Nominal Group Technique and Force Field Analysis. It is designed to specifically address issues of group dynamics in decision making conferencing situations. The SDC approach was particularly successful in developing strategies and action plans, which required the cooperation of different organisations or departments. Although SDC was originally built for the MOD, it has also been used to address issues across various private and public organisations from business development to inter-departmental coordination and communication. In essence, the aim of an SDC is to structure a meeting of parties interested in the achievement of a ‘change situation’, whether it is the resolution of a problem, or to identify a course of action. Delegates will each have different backgrounds and perceptions. SDC is a proven technique, which allows you to resolve these complicated problems, in a short time frame.

For example, SDC has been used to construct strategies for integrating management teams recently brought together as part of a company takeover or through government reorganisation, to identify why major potential customers prefer to purchase from a competitor, or just to minimise political differences between departments. However, the most common use is to identify strengths and weaknesses within an organisation so that management can build on strengths and eliminate weaknesses as part of an ongoing Management Improvement Programme. The technique is designed to ensure that all delegates give their full support to the final action plans for implementation. This is achieved through an expert facilitator trained in SDC methodology. They must be certain that all of the delegates put forward the barriers that are particular to them and/or their department and the recommended actions required to address them.

A conference report will provide an action plan based on the complete contribution of all participants. This ensures that all delegates feel the conference has successfully dealt with all the issues identified at the start. The final report is a combination of the automatic output from the supporting Computer application complemented by commentary and recommendations designed by the facilitation team. This report provides a clear strategy based on the action plan designed to address the issues whilst maintaining the maximum possible support of all delegates.

This technique is proven to be effective in Multi-National companies, large Public Sector organisations and medium Private Companies alike.



Action Barrier Analysis

ABA Modelling is a Management Technique supported by a computer model, designed to assist in the development of strategies/action plans by an individual or a small team. ABA is often used to develop Sub-strategies designed to complement Strategy Development Conferences.  This is achieved by means of Breakout Groups; each group is allocated a task of investigating a specific problem or area of interest, identified during the SDC process.  The ABA method sets out to guide the user through a process, which gradually builds up a complete picture of a specific problem, thereby defining the Action / Barrier environment. This understanding is then modified, developed and enhanced to work towards a natural development of the required sub-strategy or action plan. As with SDC you first identify the objective of the modelling exercise, then you must identify, define and allocate barriers, which must be overcome in-order to achieve success.

The Breakout Group is guided through a process of considering identified barriers and designing appropriate actions required to overcome them. The Computer Application provides basic guidance on where barriers have been addressed and where more work is necessary before becoming confident in the resulting Plan of Action. Once complete, the Breakout Group present their findings to the full Conference. This allows the full conference team to be better situated with regard to these breakout issues prior to continuing with the SDC process through to its conclusion.

Although ABA was originally developed as a function of SDC, over the year’s delegates have requested copies of the application for personal use to support simple action plan development within their normal work roles. Therefore, ABA is now separately available through ManTech’s Associates.