Our process is a continous iterative process consisting of 4 sub cycles. The 4 main loops are: 1. Discover the problem, 2. Understand the problem, 3. Find solutions to the problem and 4. Solve the problem.
A mixed foundation
We rely heavily on Systems Thinking and related methodologies, in particular Interpretive or Emancipatory Systems Methodologies, to help our users understand problems. We use a mix of many different theories because we strongly believe in the ability to adapt to the world of complex problem solving, not being locked into a specific theory. Also no problem solving / problem structuring methods were designed for massive distributed online collaboration.
In order to evolve a problem solving process tailored for large scale online collaboration we employ a trial and error methodology where we evolve the site based on user feedback while testing various ideas from different Problem Structuring Methods.
The Koios problem solving process is mainly based upon these 4 methodologies/frameworks/approaches:
Systems Thinking by
Russell L. Ackoff and others has been a strong influence on the overall design.
A good example of the use of Systems Thinking can be found in the publication by WHO, The Alliance for Health Policy and Systems Research, SYSTEMS THINKING for Health Systems Strengthening (PDF 1,6Mb)
On a more detailed level we have used the System Improvement Process (SIP) by Jack Harich at www.thwink.org. SIP has a systems thinking approach with additional emphasis on root cause analysis, overcoming change resistance, taking into consideration proper coupling, model drift and identifying both high and low leverage points.
Koios has its early origins in the work of Dr. Dorien DeTombe; COMPRAM, a methodology for handling Complex Societal Problems.
Koios is also influenced by Foresight studies and in particular the Foresight methodological framework by FOR-LEARN of the 6th Framework Programme project of the European Commission.
Other sources of inspiration
- Problem Structuring Methods
- Policy analysis
- Soft Operations Research
- Human Activity Systems (HAS) by Peter Checkland
- Soft Systems Methodology by Peter Checkland and Brian Wilson
- Journey Making by Colin Eden and Fran Ackermann
- Action research
- Cognitive mapping
- Strategic choice approach (SCA)
- Strategic assumptions surfacing and testing (SAST)
- Decision conferencing
- Policy analysis
- Interactive management
- Interactive planning by Russell Ackoff
- Stakeholder analysis
- General Morphological Analysis
- Multi-criteria decision analysis (MCDM) and Social Multi-Criteria Evaluation (SMCE)
- Intelligence Analysis
- Scenario planning by Herman Kahn
- Strategic options development and analysis
- The Simplex Process
- Learning organization by Peter Senge
- Soft systems dynamics
- Futures studies by Herman Kahn, Olaf Helmer, Bertrand de Jouvenel and others
- Knowledge Management by Nonaka, Ikujiro
- Applied Systems Thinking
- Experiential learning
- Risk Communication and outrage assessment by Peter M. Sandman
- Capacity Development by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)
- Critical systems thinking by Werner Ulrich
- Complex Adaptive Systems (CAS) by John H. Holland
- Multi-Stakeholder Processes, Centre for Development Innovation, Wageningen University and Research Centre.
- Logical Framework Approach by Leon J. Rosenberg, United States Agency for International Development.