Addressing Decision-Making Dilemmas With the SDM® System

People who work in professions that directly impact the lives of others, including child and adult protection workers, make complex decisions every day. These decisions share the universal characteristics of uncertainty, intricacy, risk, and alternatives—all of which can lead to decision-making dilemmas. Information overload and implicit bias are additional factors in decision-making dilemmas, which can be overwhelming and make situations feel out of control.
 
This is where the Structured Decision Making® (SDM) system comes in. The SDM® system helps address the dilemmas of complex decision making by organizing the information about a case and breaking decisions down into simpler forms. When decision making is structured, workers can focus on just the information needed to make the decision at hand. The definitions that accompany each SDM assessment tool help to manage personal interpretations by leveling the playing field and having everyone operate from the same meaning of assessment items.
 
While the SDM system does not take the complexity out of decisions, it helps to break down the decisions into manageable pieces and reduce the dilemmas.
 

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