Problem frames for socio-technical systems: predictability and change

Brier, J.; Rapanotti, L. and Hall, J.G. (2004). Problem frames for socio-technical systems: predictability and change. In: 1st International Workshop on Applications and Advances of Problem Frames, 24 May 2004, Edinburgh, UK.



Problem frames are a widely accepted framework for analysing and cataloguing software problems. Their foundation is the widely accepted separation between the machine, the solution which is the object of design, and its context, the environment where the problem exists. Recently, problem frames have been shown to be amenable to the analysis of complex socio-technical problems, in which social components, once only part of the problem description, are now the subject of design. To this end, a further separation is required to identify those social elements. In this position paper we proposed a program of research to resolve issues of predictability and change that arise when social and technological components are objects of co-design. Our work is inspired by the change state model of Stacey. We argue how this model may apply to problem frames in the context of design of complex socio-technical systems, and discuss the implications in terms of both problem frames foundation and notation.

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