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Sunday, January 01, 2017

Typology of Problems - Problem Formulation Framework

Problem Solving requires problem understanding and problem exploration. We have seen there is general tendency to get into solving - getting to solutions quickly before even understanding the problem.

We describe 4 Types of Problems that we encountered usually in our workshops. Theory of Inventive Problem Solving (TRIZ) describe these as contradictions - some sort of conflicts between various system parameters.

Type A: Wish/Aspiration ~ Administrative Contradiction ~ May be High level Objective setting (Almost ~ Do "Something")

Type B: Unexpected Results/Consequences of an action

Type C: Beyond Optimisation (Technical Contradiction)

Type D: Paradox (physical contradiction)

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We describe below the basic anatomy of these 4 type of problems and what questions can help you refine these problem statements towards a solution thinking.

This is part of our SOUL-ALVIS-CRAFT framework

Type A: Wish/Aspiration ~ Administrative Contradiction ~ May be High level Objective setting (Almost ~ Do "Something")

Anatomy of Type A problems : (1) We should do X (increase productivity, profit, reliability, etc, decrease attrition, waste, etc)) (2) I want to do X, but have no opportunity or not allowed to do X. (3) We should do X, but do not know how/vague idea of how to do

Question on the problem statement : Why should you do X? What is stopping you to do X?
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Type B: Unexpected Results/Consequences of an action

 Anatomy of Type B problems : (1) We did Y expecting X, but it resulted in Z? (2) We did Y to do X, we achieved X partially but we also had Z which is harmful/not expected/not thought through?

 Question on the problem statement : Why were you expecting X (X only)? What was missed out when you conceived Y to achieve X? Why Z was not expected? Could something done while doing Y caused Z? Can Y be modified to eliminate that something?

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 Type C: Beyond Optimisation


Anatomy of Type C problems : (1) We improve X by doing Y but it worsen/reduce Z which is not desired. (2) We improve X by doing Y but we can not do more Y to improve X as it reduces/worsens Z, so we do Y only to an extent to optimise X and Z.

 Question on the problem statement : Could something done while doing Y caused Z to worsen? What is that? Can Y be modified to eliminate that something? Can we find Y-Dash which does X AND doesn’t worsen Z?

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Type D: Paradox (physical contradiction)

Anatomy of Type D problems : (1) We want X to have P AND we want X to have "Not P". (2) We want X to function as Y AND we want X to function as NOT Y

Question on the problem statement : When do you want P and when not P? Where do you want P and where not P? Under what conditions you want P and under what conditions you want not P?


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WISHING YOU A GREAT 2017!


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