Key Role Distinctions (Development Years 1982-2002)

(1) The Context – Design Management Team,

(2) The Content – Stakeholder/Designers, and
(3) The Process – SDD Facilitation Team

Understanding Roles in an SDD Process Application

Understanding your involvement in a problem solving situation is critical for its success. The Structured Dialogic Design (SDD) practioner is an expert in the theory and practice of the Dialogic Design Science. However, he/she is not to be the problem definiiton and solutions content expert, or the designer of the solutions. Knowing how to distinguish between process and content expertise as a facilitator is what will make you a successful SDD practioner.

To better help you understand the SDD practioner roles, lets explore these roles under the following three key Role dimensions: Context, content, and process.

The Context: The design situation, what are potential causes for a problem and all surrounding aspects of it. Who are the players (stakeholders, the onwer of the problem, whose accountability is it).
Client and SDD practioners. Here is where a dance, between content and process expertise will take place between the SDD practioner and the client, the owner of the problem.
The context is what will drive the problem resolution. It is a broad picture of an issue, which will eventually be defined as a “system of problems” or problematique. The SDD practioner has some knowledge about the type of problem being discussed, and understands about the nature of complex problems. Understands complexity, and will help the client visualize the problem in its contextual situation. Will work with the client in formulating a problem solving question (triggering question). This question is extremely important, because it will guide all the activities prescribed by the SDD process. The triggering question will help the client select who are the stakeholders.
The Process: This is where the SDD practioner exhibits his/her expertise.
This is the exclusive domain of the SDD practioner.
A successful SDD practioner would know the process very well, and will know when the process application is appropriate. The SDD practioner knows what are the process non-negotiable aspects and why they are non-negotiable.
The Content: If the problem has been described as a complex, wicked problem, then it is a STAKEHOLDER dependent situation.
The content for resolving the problem is a stakeholder prerrogative.
A SDD practioner, in his/her facilitator role is never to interfere or interject with participant’s perpectives. This is the exclusive domain of the client and the client’s stakeholders. The SDD practioner will only facilitate the content dialogue by emplying the science of Dialogic Design.

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