Our Process

Like you, we are in the problem solving business. The challenge we face in local government is that different constituencies in our communities have different interests and preferences. A critical first step to solving a problem is thus engaging with these constituencies to understand what counts as a good solution. Only by doing this can we avoid the fractious (and expensive) failures that are too common in local government.

Our role is to help your team navigate the entire decision process, from idea creation to public assent and council approval. Unlike specialized communications or public consultation firms, we understand and attend to each stage of the decision-making process. This enables fast and coherent progress towards a solution. And unlike technology-focused firms, we draw on a comprehensive and proven set of capabilities. This allows us to select the best analytical tools for your specific requirements.

The elements of our method are shown below. Contact us to see how we can tailor our offering to best support you and your community:

  • Understand

    You can’t pick a path until you know where you are going

    A critical element of our process is identifying the unique information requirements of each problem and working backwards.  We start with a roadmap.

  • Engage

    Listen to the public early and often

    We use a variety of conventional and technology-enabled methods to ensure we understand the preference landscape of the problem.

  • Structure

    Consensus does not exist

    Communities are complex.  Instead of chasing a false consensus, we seek to map and interpret the preference landscape.  Only by identifying and respecting diverse perspectives can we hope to understand potential tradeoffs and compromises.

  • Measure

    You can’t understand what you don’t quantify

    We use advanced techniques, such as Delphi surveys, to elicit preferences views from large stakeholder panels.  These techniques provide us with rich qualitative and quantitative data to inform the rest of the decision process.

  • Feedback

    Deliberation is the essence of decision making

    Not only are citizens heard during our process, they feel that they are being heard in their own words.  Moreover, they hear others and have opportunities to change their positions in response to other perspectives.

  • Inform

    Participants need a single source of truth

    Your corporate website is not the place to hold a messy online debate.  Instead, we spin up single-topic web portals to give stakeholders a single location to seek additional information, ask questions, and voice opinions.

  • Analyze

    The truth is in the data

    We don't just dump data on your desk.  We use cutting edge visual analytics and statistical analysis to make sense of the data we collect.  These techniques can uncover unexpected relationships, segments, and potential paths for compromise.

  • Collaborate

    Decision making is a team sport

    Your staff and subject matter experts are an integral part of the decision process.  We complement and support them by giving them the community information they need to design better solutions.

  • Model

    Things get complex

    Choosing between alternatives can be difficult, especially in the face of uncertainty and conflicting objectives.  We can help your staff with advanced economic analysis, multi-criteria decision making, Monte Carlo simulation, and other sophisticated modelling techniques.

  • Hand over

    We don’t sell citizens solutions

    Transparent and participative decision making means your community owns the outcome—they don’t need to be sold.  Individuals might not agree with the recommended course of action, but they will understand how we got there and how the solution satisfies larger community goals.