Site Map

A one-step jump to everything

The Problem Solving Process
Naming Gone Wrong

These pages outline the basic problem solving process, independent of any particular problem. The first two phases are typically the responsibility of leadership, while the last two are typically more in the hands of managers.

The 6 Problem Types
An introduction to the significance of problem types
A list of short definitions

Problems that are Puzzles
Problems that are Too Rich
Problems with Uncertainties
Problems that are Disputes
Problems that are Dilemmas
Types of Dilemmas
Problems that are Complexities
Nature of emergence
Source of system conflicts
Types of systems

These are the basic six problem types that form the conceptual core of this site. We believe that every problem can be characterized as some mix of 1-3 types.

Solving Your Type
Solving a Puzzle
Exploring Problems that are Too Rich
Planning for Uncertainties
Resolving a Dispute
Managing a Dilemma
Living in a Complexity

The whole value in typing a situation is the value of using the type to

  • guide your exploration of the situation,
  • plot out a strategy for addressing the problem, and
  • defining the outline of a solution.

Common Business Challenges
Strategic Planning
Portfolio Management
Project Management
Enterprise Wide Data System Implementation
Performance Evaluations

This section decomposes some typical business challenges into their component problem types.

These activities all turn out to be combinations of different problem types, which explains why they are often so difficult. People are caught in trying to do things that are dramatically different while believing they are somehow part of the same activity.