When dealing with complex problems…
Since you can call anything you don’t understand complex, but most probably are just over your head and can’t even see the issue is just complicated but no more than that – being more than you can handle already but even that you don’t see. I.e.,
Complicated is a problem that needs a complicated algorithm to solve. Mostly by dumbing down the situation, a.k.a. ‘modelling’. Which is OK if the problem at hand is complicated indeed, meaning that a step-wise analysis/detailing actually works and one can prune the hierarchical problem tree of insignificant branches until one arrives at a model which can be understood (by you) and tackled with a known problem-solving strategy/algo. Most people tend to just strip down a problem’s structure by slashing away at its parts in- or too-little-discriminately as they don’t see what they loose in the process or couldn’t care they just need a model they can understand not a model that is appropriate for problem resolution – leading to Dunning-Kruger extremities. You know, like ‘any crippled model is better than no model at all’ in this way.
< Failure Level: Maximum+ >
Complex is where this all doesn’t help. Even when you do an intelligent complication stripping … you end up with interrelations tat are just too much to cope, conceptually, and no algorithm for (linear …!) problem reduction can help. Nor can any complex though process. a., we may not be capable of that to the degree necessary nor to the degree we think we’re capable of … [D-K again]; b., no progress may be made.
So, … when “Wicked problem: [A] social or cultural problem that is difficult or impossible to solve for as many as four reasons: incomplete or contradictory knowledge, the number of people and opinions involved, the large economic burden, and the interconnected nature of these problems with other problems.” – here – the latter applies here.
Even when we’re in sub-wicked, just complex territory.
To consider, when you face a ‘problem’…: If it reeks of non-triviality, go Design mode. If it truly is merely complicated – go ahead and solve it what are you waiting for.
Now then, …:
[Great design; Rijksmuseum]