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Applying the Concept of Wicked Problems and 7 Principles for Dealing with Them (Rose City SPIN Seminar)

Beaverton Public Library - Conference Room
12375 SW 5th St
Beaverton, OR 97005, US (map)
Public WiFi


Applying the Concept of Wicked Problems and 7 Principles for Dealing with Them presented by Bill Gilmore

Networking @ 6:00 PM; Seminar 7:00-8:00 PM This is a free seminar open to the public. Hosted by the Rose City Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN).


Many of you may have heard about "wicked problems". For example, in many cases one can define the problem, then pursue a solution; but with wicked problems, one can't define the problem well until they finally have the solution. Wicked problems have several other interesting characteristics as well. An approach of "taming wicked problems" contradicts the wisdom of trying to make the nature and complexity of the solution fit the nature and complexity of the problem.

The concept of wicked problems can be used as a paradigm for understanding many real world situations, including many in software development, managing teams and leading projects, organizational change, strategic planning, and more. In this presentation, you'll hear about 7 principles that can be applied for dealing with wicked problems. We'll look at several examples of problems, some more wicked than others, and how to analyze and deal with them. We'll also look at several seminal ideas in software engineering and see how the principles were used. Finally, we'll gather some problems from the audience and practice characterizing the problems and applying the principles for planning how to cope with them.

Speaker Bio

Bill Gilmore has worked in software engineering for over 20 years in various development, management, process and consulting roles. He worked in two small companies, then worked at the Software Engineering Institute at Carnegie Mellon. He moved to Oregon in 1993 to head up the Software Process Improvement program at Tektronix. Most recently he worked at Intel for 10 years with several product teams and business groups on software product quality, product life cycles and several areas of software engineering. He led CMM and product life cycle assessments and organized and led follow-on improvement programs. Today, Bill is the President of the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC). Bill has a Ph.D. in Astronomy; has published papers in Software Engineering, Strategic Planning, and Astronomy; and has presented at several conferences.

A Special Treat from PNSQC

Plan on coming early! In collaboration with the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference (PNSQC) the SPIN meeting will have pizza provided by PNSQC beginning at 6:00 pm.

PNSQC is the Pacific Northwest Software Quality Conference, a group of volunteers interested in Software Quality. The Mission of the PNSQC is to enable knowledge exchange to produce higher quality software. As a non-profit, it seeks to promote software quality by providing education and opportunities for information exchange within the software community.

About Rose City SPIN

The Rose City Software Process Improvement Network (SPIN) is a monthly forum for networking, mutual support, and promotion of effective software practices. We exchange practical experiences, ideas, knowledge, wisdom, and war stories about the technical, business, and human facets of software process improvement. The Rose City SPIN serves the software development community of the Portland/Vancouver metro area. Whether you work for a large company or a small one, corporate or self-employed, industrial or academic setting, you are welcome at the Rose City SPIN.