Guidance for solving wicked problems

Guidance for solving wicked problems

Jonathan Rosenhead (1996), of the London School of Economics, presented the following criteria for dealing with complex social planning problems – criteria that were clearly influenced by the ideas presented by Rittle, Webber and Ackoff.

  • accommodate multiple alternative perspectives rather than prescribe single solutions

  • function through group interaction and iteration rather than back office calculation

  • generate ownership of the problem formulation through transparency

  • facilitate a graphical (visual) representation for the systematic, group exploration of a solution space

  • focus on relationships between discrete alternatives rather than continuous variables

  • concentrate on possibility rather than probability

Source: What’s the problem? An introduction to problem structuring methods, J. Rosenhead, Interfaces 26(6):117-131, (1996).

Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
17 May 2008