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Problem structuring methods in action

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This paper provides a review and evaluation of the use of problem structuring methods (PSMs) in practice. It starts by describing the origins of PSMs, the type of problem situation for which they are suitable, and the characteristics of some leading methods. An overview of the practice of PSMs is provided from a number of angles, including case studies and surveys of applications. A number of issues in the application of PSMs are discussed, in particular an account of the debate about evaluation of the success of PSMs; the selection of an appropriate method; multimethodology; and a variety of aspects of the maintenance of relationships with the client organisation(s). Finally, some possible future developments are suggested, especially through productive interactions with similar or related practices.

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