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Introducing e-Deliberation™ Solving the Problem of Strategic Planning with Collaborative Deliberation For Engineering Firms. Jean-Daniel Cusin Chief Solutions Architect e-Deliberation Inc. e-Deliberation™ Use Cases for Engineering Firms. The Business Objective/Challenge .

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Introducing e-Deliberation™Solving the Problem of Strategic Planning withCollaborative DeliberationFor Engineering Firms

Jean-Daniel Cusin

Chief Solutions Architect

e-Deliberation Inc.

e deliberation use cases for engineering firms
e-Deliberation™ Use Cases for Engineering Firms

The Business Objective/Challenge

  • Concurrent Engineering
  • Coordinate the design and advancement of the many different facets (areas of expertise) of a project such that every facet is in sync with the other ones;
  • Ensure that all facets have been reviewed for potential problem identification and resolution in the light of what other facets are planning;
  • Minimize lead times without sacrificing quality.

How Usually Addressed & Impacts

  • Many rounds of formal and ad hoc meetings, reviews, rework, sign-offs, milestone reviews, revisions, etc.
  • Impacts
  • Time to market remains unacceptably long because the process is very administrative and it is complex to involve all the departments simultaneously;
  • One or two groups end up taking the lead anyway, and dictating the path of the solution set;
  • Problems/challenges at the junction of different specializations or departments take a long time to get resolved.
concurrent engineering
Concurrent Engineering

The e-Deliberation Advantage

  • Using the e-Deliberation process, each facet of the project is defined as one of several Topics that need to be developed in parallel;
  • Participants collaborate in topics where they are experts as well as in others, to foster synergy;
  • The Topic Teams advance their design deliverables in parallel waves. At the end of each wave, each participant has the opportunity to consent to each of the Teams design or raise a formal objection, which becomes an input to the Team’s next wave of design;
  • The goal is for all Teams to achieve consent from everyone in a maximum of three waves, at which point the design can be signed off.


  • The concurrent engineering approach enabled by the e-Deliberation concept of iterative consent-based waves teases difficulties out early in the process and get resolved before engaging downstream rework;
  • Participants either commit to design directions or raise objections which get dealt with; there is no grey area;
  • By enabling team membership in teams in addition to areas of core expertise, participants develop an understanding of these other domains’ constraints and opportunities;
  • The design cycle time is reduced significantly by easing the scheduling constraints and making face to face meetings optional;
  • The complexity of dealing with a multi-stakeholder team is reduced considerably.
e deliberation use cases for engineering firms1
e-Deliberation™ Use Cases for Engineering Firms

The Business Objective/Challenge

  • Post-Mortem Project Reviews
  • Understand project shortcomings and ensure they do not recur;
  • Foster continuous improvement from project issues, errors and shortcomings.

How Usually Addressed & Impacts

  • Meeting/conference call where the issues are debriefed and analyzed in terms of cause and effect;
  • “Guilty” parties are identified for retraining or reclassification;
  • Most attendees stay silent to keep out of trouble.
  • Very little real change happens.
post mortem project reviews
Post-Mortem Project Reviews

The e-Deliberation Advantage

  • Recognizing that most issues are of a systemic nature and that their causes cannot be traced with a reductionist approach, an e-Deliberation-based post mortem considers the whole project as well as its organizational context as the backdrop for the post-mortem deliberation.
  • The outcome of such an event delivers structural, policy & procedural change recommendations that are endorsed and supported by all the participants.


  • The learning that results is systemic and achieves a critical mass of support sufficient to make it stick;
  • This process enables core aspects of learning organizations:
    • Positive feedback loops
    • Complex adaptive behavior
    • Self-regulation
    • Fail-proofing and antifragility;
  • Less frequent errors, less associated cost, better contingency, mitigation and remediation.
e deliberation use cases for engineering firms2
e-Deliberation™ Use Cases for Engineering Firms

The Business Objective/Challenge

  • Engaging Community Support
  • Obtain Community feedback about a planned project so the misgivings can be understood and addressed positively.
  • Creating Community Synergy
  • Engage Community participation in mitigating potential negative impacts of a projects while meeting community aspirations or wishes, so the project achieves community support and acceptance.

How Usually Addressed & Impacts

  • Media ads and other communications to market the concept in positive terms;
  • Lobby government bodies;
  • Fund community projects to create visibility;
  • “Town hall” meetings & presentations;
  • Etc.
  • Impacts
  • Population remains unengaged;
  • Negative and critical voices make the most noise;
  • Good projects get cancelled or sidetracked for political reasons;
  • Costly compromises.
engaging community support synergy
Engaging Community Support & Synergy

The e-Deliberation Advantage

  • Ask the community to express its concerns early in the process using the Feedback e‑Deliberation variant;
  • Build a case based on these concerns so they are conclusively addressed in the planning and communications strategy;
  • Involve self-selected and targeted community leaders into an e-Deliberation event to determine a strategy focused on a theme such as “What will it take to allow this project to be positive/successful for the community”;
  • The idea is to create synergy between the project and other community concerns, aspirations, goals and projects where the sum is better than the parts.


  • By opening up direct communication lines, negative community reactions can be preempted/replaced by an attitude of trust and collaboration;
  • The cost of holding an online event is productive and inexpensive.
  • The project gets to be endorsed as a community development initiative;
  • The needs of the various stakeholder groups get heard, integrated and met in collaboration;
  • By dealing directly with the community, third party intervention and distraction is minimized;
  • Lower cost of friction;
  • Profitable synergy with other partners in play.
e deliberation use cases for engineering firms3
e-Deliberation™ Use Cases for Engineering Firms

The Business Objective/Challenge

  • Strategic Planning
  • A large and diversified enterprise needs to maintain a tight balance between the autonomy of its parts (geographical and specializations) and global alignment & strategy.
  • Getting division heads together for strategy design often enough interferes with their managing own day to day operations.
  • Top-down strategy making does not have sufficient variety to absorb divisional complexity, local exigencies and leverage local opportunities.

How Usually Addressed & Impacts

  • Infrequent top management strategy meetings;
  • Centralized decision-making becomes the default approach.
  • Impact
  • Top-down strategies don’t trickle down effectively and have disappointing results;
  • Increasing disconnect and isolation between operations;
  • Loss of global synergy for branding, product development, and competitive positioning.
  • The complexity of situations outstrips the ability of the team to understand and deal with them effectively.
strategic planning
Strategic Planning

The e-Deliberation Advantage

  • The e-Deliberation process can mix both face to face and online meetings, or can be used entirely online.
  • The process considers all perspectives in parallel and ensures their integration;
  • The meeting of the minds is achieved using a consent-based decision making approach and multiple feedback loops;
  • The process of developing strategy explores the multiple facets of the situation in parallel


  • By conducting much of the strategic planning online, the team can get together virtually more often, stay connected, and aligned;
  • Policy decisions and strategy can be created collaboratively, balancing top-down and bottom-up flows;
  • Local differences can be visibly managed and integrated into the strategy making, as opposed to ignoring them during the crucial discussions.
  • Strategy outcomes are multifaceted and comprehensive, as opposed to being simplistic, naïve or underestimating the nature of the situation being managed
e deliberation when you need it
e-Deliberation: When You Need It

Checklist to validate that a situation warrants using e-Deliberation™ to address it*

* If any two of the above are true, e-Deliberation is the most effective medium of collaborative deliberation.

the e deliberation collaboration platform
The e-Deliberation™ Collaboration platform

The e-Deliberation™ protocol uses divergent/convergent thinking modes, multiple feedback mechanisms and a multifaceted strategy development process.

It ensures a high variety of ideas and concerns flow through to a sustainable and consent-based resolution.

It can be used for both online and co-located participants and it yields a multifaceted, integrated strategy.

Has a process variant for every type of collaboration needed.

Click here for more details.

nurturing participant collaboration
Nurturing Participant Collaboration


  • Schedule their daily participation to dovetail with their rest of life priorities
  • Get emails when each phase starts and when it is wrapping up
  • Work with a defined number of other participants over a predefined period of time, with clear goals, deliverables and process
  • Get “reputation points” for their contributions (posts, comments, polls, star-rates) and for receiving star-rates from others
  • Give their opinions and feedback at multiple points in the process
  • Can see others’ Reputation Points and when they last showed up
  • Gain influence based on the power of their ideas
  • Attendance is tracked by a Project Manager. S/He can also bar disruptive users from the event if necessary
  • Work individually, in sub-teams and in whole group according to the phase
  • Take on some responsibility for teamwork when in sub-teams
about e deliberation
About e-Deliberation™

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