Problem Structuring Methods


Problem Structuring Methods are a family of methods that apply modelling approaches to address messy or wicked problems faced by the managers of organisations.

They seek to alleviate or improve situations characterised by uncertainty, conflict and complexity. Although the family of methods was described in Jonathan Rosenhead's 1989 book, Rational Analysis for A Problematic World, the special interest group does not limit itself to the approaches described there. It embraces all other cognate interpretative model building approaches and decision science tools aimed at supporting groups in working through problems.

The aims of the PSM Special Interest Group are to provide a forum which increases the understanding and practical use of PSMs amongst interested members of the broad OR community. It allows specialist PSM practitioners to explore the connections between PSMs and other MS/OR approaches and examines the applicability of software to supporting PSM practice. The group also promotes the exchange of experiences of teaching PSMs within higher education, of training in the use of PSMs in industry, commerce and government and supports the work of research students exploring PSM themes.

Committee details

Christina Phillips
Co Chair
Martin Parr
Co Chair
15. Facilitating the Revision of AYME’s Strategy.jpg

Come to our next event

An Introduction to Soft OR

Date: Monday 29 March

Time: 5pm-6pm

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About The Event

The Problem Structuring Methods SIG have a wonderful mix of academics and practitioners within the SIG. Some are experts and others are nearer to the beginning of their career. We are about to roll out a new programme of activities for you all and there is great interest within the Operational Research Society in offering more to the problem structuring community.

The next virtual session will be interesting for people who like to know more about how we define and use soft OR and problem structuring.

Introduction to Soft OR: If you need clarity from your customers or you are dealing with too much complexity this session will help you

We will bring you lots of examples of soft methods in action and talk you through how to design or improve a system using a mixture of soft and hard approaches.

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