A Wicked Problem Case Study

This blog posting will make more sense to you if you have a basic understanding of wicked problems.

On a recent client engagement we received a statement of work (from the IT department) to replace an existing proprietary system. This system was brought into the company via an acquisition of another organization several years ago.  It was a document management solution that housed only Adobe PDF files, and made custom web service calls to allow people to comment on PDFs within the browser and to sign off on their tasks. Over the years the application had become buggy (the web service calls would fail after Windows updates were run on workstations) and there was no internal knowledge to support the application anymore, which resulted in IT performing registry hacks on end user workstations so the application would work again. Continue reading