A wicked problem is a problem that is difficult or impossible to solve because of incomplete, contradictory, and changing requirements that are often difficult to recognize. These problems are wicked because they resist solution, they adapt and change form, and they can’t be separated from their context.
“You can’t know what you don’t know about what you need to know. So it’s still your fault.” – Modern UX Designer’s conundrum.
As the Lean movement treads its certain path through the digital world, killing two-dimensional artefacts, trouncing on requirements specifications and making us all empowered and Agile, we might be sleepwalking into a bunch of very wicked problems.
You may not recognise wicked problems when they come up, but like a bad smell, they haunt you for a long time. Within the trifecta of money, time and capability, live any number of decisions needed to conceptualise, design and build large scale digital products and services.
The need to balance these with getting something ‘shipped’ means we inherently make choices that have a significant impact on the challenges we face later down the line. This talk explores some of these wicked digital problems and how they affect teams, as well as presenting some perspectives to help mitigate their impact when they come up.