Excerpt from the book

“Design Thinking” is one area of product development strategy which is often misunderstood by the developers. To understand Design Thinking, one needs to understand the concept of a Wicked Problem.

What is a wicked problem?

Consider a solution development where a development team faces three main challenges –

  • Incomplete Information

  • Contradictory Information

  • Changing Business Requirements

Irrespective of how many years of cumulative experience is there in the room, the challenges can confound them.

Reasons –

  • The problem is not definitive and is prone to bias based on the perspective.

  • One solution might give rise to another cause of concern. Often times, there is no single solution resolving all the known and unknown conflicts while some solutions do address a subset of all the conflicts leading to difficulty in making a decision.

  • More often than less, a wicked problem is unique in nature, given the circumstances and ecosystem.

Fortunately, there are fewer wicked problems in most development projects. Nevertheless, designing solutions for wicked problems over the years have carved out strategy principles that can be effectively implemented in Product Development.


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