New tools to deal with complex problem domain

With the exponential increase in technology and the emerging complex problem domain characteristic of the 21st century, engineers, managers, decision makers and other professionals are frequently faced with the challenge of making decisions at various levels of their systems. The complex problem domain is marked by (1) increasing complexity, (2) excessive information, (3) ambiguity, (4) emergence and (5) high levels of uncertainty. Dealing with  problems exhibiting these characteristics requires knowledge not only of technological issues, but also of the inherent human/social, organizational/managerial, and political/policy dimensions that solutions to these issues must consider. Currently there are insufficient tools and techniques purposefully designed to deal with socio-technical problems. At best, there are emerging methodologies and a selection of existing tools from related fields (e.g. stakeholder analysis, objective tree, lean sigma, etc.). Most of these tools and techniques focus more on the technical perspective of the problem. This is not a criticism of these techniques or the fields from which they are derived. On the contrary, this suggests that these techniques, while they might currently satisfy a need, have not been designed and specifically structured as techniques for facilitation of socio-technical problem solutions. Effective tool selection and utilization requires appreciation of the uniqueness of the problem domain, context, and methodology as well as a matching of that tool(s) to the specific application. Without a thorough appreciation of this uniqueness, the resulting mismatch is not likely to produce the desired outcome to efficiently and effectively navigate the complex problem domain

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