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Solving a problem always creates new problems
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  • Solving a problem always creates new problems.

    The cost/benefit analysis of solving a problem should always include the costs of the subsequent problems and their solutions.

    Implementing a solution, buying a new device, doing something different. All these things introduce change. Change in itself creates problems.

    Predicting what will happen in a completely linear system is relatievly simple and accurate. Predicting how changes to a non-linear, complex or chaotic system will play out are very difficult, inaccurate and are limited to generalities.

    Changes to any system that involve people should be considered to be Wicked problems and full predictions are impossible. It might be possible to predict certain outcomes, especially if they mandate particular and measurable behaviours, however the risk of unintended consequences is extremely high. Any solution to a Wicked problem will change the problem.

    Not understanding this can be dangerous to an implementation project and to the problem owner

    Bernard Robertson-Dunn, 2011

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