Structuring tools and techniques, many of which stem from the decision sciences, help to distinguish an SDM approach. These tools provide discipline and decision-focus both to technical analysis and to value-based deliberations. A small sample of them are briefly described here.

**Influence Diagrams**

Influence diagrams are a conceptual modeling tool that graphically represent the causal relationships between decisions, external factors, uncertainties and outcomes. More

**Eliciting Expert Judgments**

There are well-established methods for eliciting judgments from experts that minimize a range of psychological biases. More

**Value Trees**

A value tree, like an objectives hierarchy, shows how higher order objectives are linked to sub-objectives and eventually to performance measures or attributes. More

**Bayesian Networks**

Bayesian networks describe the nature of the probabilistic inter-dependence of factors (or ‘nodes’) in an influence diagram. Conditional probabilities for complex belief networks can be calculated by computer algorithms using Bayes Theorem. More

**Inference Trees**

Inference trees document explanatory factors used in making an assessment of impact level, along with the supporting data used. More

**Strategy Tables**

A strategy table is a convenient (and strategic) way of creating a small number of logical, internally consistent and informative alternatives when there are many possible ways to mix and match actions. More

**Value Models**

A weighted index or a value model is a scale that weights and combines different kinds of impacts into a single metric for reporting purposes. More

**Defined Level Scales**

These reduce ambiguity in comparing the performance of alternatives by defining and describing discrete levels of impact. More

**Key Ideas**

- A wide variety of tools and techniques are available to help apply SDM to complex, real-world situations
- Those listed here are just a sample