Wicked Problems

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  • Topic: Problem solving, Wicked problem, Melvin M. Webber
  • Pages : 8 (2760 words )
  • Download(s) : 63
  • Published : May 14, 2013
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Introduction
Technology is moving very fast these days and lots of things have happened in e-commerce since Internet has appeared. Today, lots of people are using the Internet to buy/ sell different types of products instead of traditional way. Also, more and more people want to start a new business in this area. Moreover, there are a lot of individuals that try to open startup e-businesses and they need to overcome the adoption problem with ICT technologies. Therefore, they will need consultancy in ICT adoption and improvement. Last but not least, the SMEs try to improve their business performance. As a result, they need to benefit more from using ICT and make it fully integrated with their services. Most of the times when engineers try to solve or define problems there are dealing with problems that are well defined and have different and findable solutions. All these problems have a clear mission and it’s very understandable when a problem has a solution or no. However, not all the problems engineers are trying to address have all those clarifying traits, some of these problems have some malign properties, such as the problem may not be well defined, recognizable or easy to solve. Researchers refer to this group of problems as wicked problems. [1] I don’t think that is the first time when we are confronting with wicked problems in our life, but is the first time when we have to recognize them and try to solve them. What does the term of wicked problem actually mean? Term wicked problem was defined first time by Horst W.J. Rittel and Melvin M. Webber in Dilemmas in General Theory of Planning paper, which was presented to the American Scientists in 1969.It was modified by authors in 1973. They are saying that “a Wicked Problem is a problem difficult or impossible to solve, because of the insufficient requirements that we have about it. Sometimes the existing requirements changes frequently and other times are contradictory. This makes it impossible to recognize, define and manage the requirements”. [1]

Wicked Problem
In our project process we will explore the relationship between ICT and e-business, and gain an insight of different impacts of the ICT and business services. The project idea came from initial brainstorming which was held on the beginning of the semester. Our project aim is to analyze the CBB Company and its activities regarding the ICT system and e-business relation, so we can come out with suggestions to evolve and improve their business strategies. This analysis will help most SME’s to improve their ICT and work in a strategic way in order to keep their business going forward. After brainstorming we defined our main question and sub-questions consequent from basic idea. This part is called problem formulation. Here we will use a case study based on a real e-business company, called CBB, for better understanding about the real picture of the relationship presented above. In order to address our problem we will make a field research based on interview the management department that uses ICT system, we will also interview some of the workers to see if they have any problems with adaption with the ICT system. We will also try to examine a system, to evaluate their IT system and services to see if they fulfill the business demands. The problem analysis describes the real impact of the ICT strategies used by the company on their business. The analysis also includes a way on how to improve real life situation using theoretical studies. As I said before we are three students working at this project and we have different ideas and is difficult to reach common understanding. That’s why group projects are for start learning us how to adapt to different ideas and see the world from different points of view. Wicked problems are all about this. In the beginning we are seeing them like unsolved problems, but we have to try and handle them. We know, from Rittel and Weber that are ten basic characteristics...
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