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Wicked Problems Need WKID Innovation

Reimagine Innovation as a process for systematic change, rather than a single technology product

Wicked problems are defined in complex systems science as problems that have no single authority and require many to solve. WKID Innovation uses theory from business, change management, systems engineering, design thinking, project management, as well as information and complex systems science to develop a framework for systematically changing the way we live in the world today. 

Specifically, it uses the vee-model from system engineering in combination with practices from change management, business, and design thinking to identify solutions mapped to specific changes in impact. The specific tools include a facilitation tool called the Change Traceability Matrix (CTM), which illuminates the expected impact and creates clear traceability to a product definition that fills a gap, but it accounts for the governing processes of people such as policies, economic structures, and sociocultural factors to: 

  1. identify metrics for quantifying return on investment by consumers, which can aid in market research and customer care; and
  2. that the product is compliant with existing systems to ensure a path to technology infusion and adoption.

From the Change Traceability Matrix, you identify the opportunities for improvement and can then use the Product Traceability Matrix to generate specific design and functional requirements for defining a product. After this point, traditional human-centered design (HCD) methods can be used to create the look and feel of a product based on how a customer would interface with that product.

This framework is called WKID innovation uses the Knowledge Hierarchy from Information Science as the foundation for how to systematically design and change a complex system. The Knowledge hierarchy is typically depicted as a pyramid with Data as the base, then Information, then Knowledge, and Wisdom at the top. Over the decades, most in information sciences discuss conversation of Data to Information and recently through Artificial Intelligence, the conversion of Information to Knowledge.

WKID Innovation flips this upside down and argues that if you want to systematically change behavior using value-added analytics, we have to actually start by talking about wisdom, a topic seldom discussed. Wisdom is informed action based on the organizational systems of people and the processes that govern them including policy, economic structures, sociocultural factors, and tools/technologies they use. 

WKID Innovation provides the framework for identifying the problem and solution in a context that provides a clear path to product design and development with a pathway to technology adoption.

WKID Innovation Framework