The problem solving process of Koios


The problem solving process of Koios. Click to enlarge

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.

Theoretical foundations

The Koios problem solving process is mainly based upon these 4 methodologies/frameworks/approaches:

Systems Thinking

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 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

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Development issues