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Center for Research on K-12 Adventist Education

ABSM Information for Conferences

The ABSM approach is a decision-making strategy that employs simulation through proprietary software. It draws upon leading-edge work in decision and risk theory, and game theory to analyze attributes of relevant stakeholders and predict their behavior when competing on agenda-driven issues. This is made possible by ABSM's ability to simulate the precise bargaining dynamics and coalition formation over time. With Subject Matter Experts (SMEs: see the bottom of this page for the description), ABSM maps the current landscape of stakeholders and coalitions who are vested in the issue. Utilizing this proprietary software, the complex interactions of all stakeholders are tracked to identify both strategic opportunities that would help achieve desired goals and threats against them.

The findings of this ABSM initiative will help

  • identify the most influential stakeholders in the conference education arena
  • analyze the various stakeholder coalitions and their relationships and how to create stronger coalitions to support Adventist Education
  • determine what stakeholder activities would most effectively boost support and enrollment
  • provide information for data-driven decisions/strategies related to Adventist Education in the conference
  • simulate real-time impact of proposed scenarios and their real-world outcomes

all of which will provide the conference with the information required to develop a comprehensive strategy to meet its desired goal.


Others using this software

Over 450 agencies are currently use this ABSM simulation capability including the Central Intelligence Agency (CIA), Defense Intelligence Agency (DIA), Department of Defense (DOD), United Nations (UN), The World Bank, and others in the private sector...



Phase I: Planning and Framing Session

  • Define specific questions
  • Divide a conference into specific regions if warranted
  • Determine top ranking issues in that region of the conference
  • Determine competing issues for that region of the conference
  • Identify Subject Matter Experts (SMEs) to complete ABSM interview
  • Identify potential policy options and Courses of Actions (COAs)
  • Identify strategy to have Pastor, Teacher, and General surveys completed

Phase 2: Data Collection and Preliminary Analysis

  • Interview SMEs* by CRAE research consultant/analyst
  • CRAE ABSM analyst refines and responds to initial definitions based upon SMEs input
  • Begin development of ABSM model based on stakeholders' attributes provided by SMEs
  • Preliminary Identification of Critical Stakeholder(s) for "Support of Adventist Education within the selected region of conference"
  • Administer, analyze and disseminate preliminary results of Pastor, Teacher, and General surveys

Phase 3: Gaming/Simulation Session, Test Courses of Action (COAs), and Policy Options

  • Ideally ½ to full-day session of live interaction using ABSM model with the conference leadership and other invited SMEs.
  • Participants will be able to propose policy options, COAs, and "what if" scenarios and then observe their real time impact on the desired outcome.

Phase 4: Final Analysis and Report

  • Synthesis of output from Phase 2 and Phase 3 into key findings for a final report.
  • Determine a date to receive the Final Report.
  • Schedule a teleconference with Conference President and leaders to discuss report with CRAE ABSM analyst.


*Subject Matter Experts

In order to adequately map the Conference landscape of stakeholders on support for Adventist education, we're seeking high quality data from Subject matter Experts (SMEs). The SMEs should be those who can be interviewed or provide information about the stakeholders. The SMEs will be those who can speak to each stakeholder's position on the issue (support for Adventist education), potential to influence the outcome of the issue, and importance of the issue to the stakeholder. For example, these individuals may hold leadership or advisory positions within the administrative structure of the church or they may be recognized as individuals with intimate knowledge of preferences among groups related to the issue (school boardmembers, parents, grandparents, professional groups, local education professionals, etc.)

It is not so important that the SME be "right," but rather, "in the ballpark." We perform sensitivity analyses on the attributes of the stakeholders provided by the SMEs to determine how robust the data are and our interpretations can be.

Subject Matter Experts are interviewed to collect the following data:

  1. Who are the stakeholders that have potential to influence the outcome?
    • political, economic & social stakeholders
    • individuals, groups, government entities or other groups,
  2. What is the relative potential influence of each stakeholder?
  3. What stated position does each stakeholder currently support?
  4. How important is the issue to each stakeholder? Concerns?

The data obtained from the SMEs must be of the highest quality. Thus, live interviews are recommended. There are several strategies for obtaining data from the SMEs:

  1. Series of one-on-one live interviews with SMEs
  2. Workshops with small groups of SMEs
  3. A virtual conference (Skype, Google, etc) can also be scheduled to conduct the interviews.

Depending on confidentiality concerns, these interviews can be restricted to conference staff and key counterparts or broadened to include other SMEs. A portion of the interviews will be selected for pair-wise comparisons to check internal validity of data provided by critical subject matter experts. Data consistency among experts will be checked and revised, if necessary.



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