Tuesday, December 16, 2003
A touchstone white paper . . . IBIS (pronounced "eye-bis") stands for Issue-Based Information System, and was developed by Horst Rittel and colleagues during the early 1970's. IBIS was developed to provide a simple yet formal structure for the discussion and exploration of "wicked" problems. . . . How to Tell if a Problem is Wicked A common concern for users of IBIS and QuestMap is knowing when to take the trouble to use them. The short answer is: Use IBIS and QuestMap when the problem is wicked! The list below will help you get a better idea if you are working on a wicked problem:
- The problem definition seems vague or keeps changing.
- The proposed solution creates a new, related problem.
- There are lots of meetings on the project but not much progress.
- There are a lot of "cooks" in the kitchen.
- The number of stakeholders keep increasing.
- Your career is at stake.
- You can't easily see the solution at the outset.
- There are multiple solutions, but no consensus and no convergence.
- The constraints on the solution keep changing.
- There are lots of political or "organizational" issues.
- The decision was already made, but it's not being followed (i.e. it's not a real decision).
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