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Business Process Management Insights

The ‘Wicked’ Problem

Wicked problems for management? I thought all management problems were wicked, some more so than others. In reality many problems that management deals with have very clean and specific solutions often as part of formulas such as inventory replenishment, economic value added, return on investment, process cycle time and many hundreds more. Even predictive analytics is a known solution. The problems that are truly wicked are those that have no real answer but have just one answer that looks better than another. It would be useful to have a means of increasing the odds that we pick the better of a set of answers.

What is consistent about the description of wicked problems is the changing nature of the components of the problem and the difficulty in getting a stable or static snapshot of what is going on. This first showed up in government policy management. It shows up in other organizations because they are larger, more complex and they deal with changing issues outside the organization that impact its direction (strategy) and operation (execution) so that best performance is not achieved.

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File name Taming_the_wicked_problem_of_policies_Feb_2016_ver_2.7.pdf File Size 314 Kilobytes File Type pdf (application/pdf) Created Date Tuesday, 16 February 2016 Owner Frank Kowalkowski Modified Date Tuesday, 03 July 2018