Software is a Wicked Problem

A Wicked Problem, roughly speaking, has a number of properties:

  1. The problem is not understood until after the formulation of a solution.

  2. Wicked problems have no stopping rule.

  3. Solutions to wicked problems are not right or wrong.

  4. Every wicked problem is essentially novel and unique.

  5. Every solution to a wicked problem is a 'one shot operation'

  6. Wicked problems have no given alternative solutions.

Software development is largely a Wicked Problem, or in headline terms:

It is faster to create a solution to the problem than to estimate how long it will take to create that solution with any degree of accuracy, and the estimate will still be wrong.


Posted 08-04-2009 2:06 PM by Jak Charlton
Filed under:



Tony wrote re: Software is a Wicked Problem
on 08-04-2009 11:59 AM


I dont think all software is wicked but my current project is pretty wicked... ;)

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