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COBIT Focus - Is COBIT 5 Process Implementation a Wicked Problem?


Join authors Joao Souza Neto, Carlos Henrique de Luca Ribeiro and Diana Santos as they respond to ISACA member questions beginning 24 April 2014. Add your questions by responding to this post!

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"Some problems are so complex that you have to be highly intelligent and well informed just to be undecided about them."

Extremely complex problems such as environmental degradation, obesity, climate change, indigenous inclusion, terrorism, poverty and religious conflicts are often called wicked problems. The concept of a wicked problem was first introduced by Charles Churchman, but Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber, urban planners at the University of California, Berkeley (USA) first raised the approach of social processes for solving complex problems, as opposed to the cognitive styles of professionals based on a Newtonian mechanistic view.,

Not all problems are wicked. Wicked problems have to be differentiated from common problems or tame problems. Unlike a wicked problem, a tame problem is one where the traditional thinking, cognitive studies and current methods of project management indicate that the best way to tackle it is to follow a top-down process—an orderly and linear approach—working from the problem down to the solution.[i] This logic is usually sufficient to achieve a feasible solution in a reasonable period of time by collecting and analyzing data and identifying the requirements to specify the problem. Then, the manager will be able to formulate and implement a solution. Thus, the cascade model (waterfall) is indicated for tame problems because they have a linear solution pattern recognized in project management literature with widespread use by the software industry.

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