PMI Launches New Course and Toolkit to Help Create a Workforce of Creative Problem Solvers

Project Management Institute (PMI), the world’s leading association for project professionals and changemakers, announced the launch of Wicked Problem Solving®, a brand-new course and toolkit in partnership with design thinking thought leader and technology pioneer Tom Wujec. The Wicked Problem Solving course mentors individuals and organisations to build the essential skills of modern creative collaboration. The toolkit then equips them with a clear, visual system to untangle a vast range of business problems using what they learned. Wicked Problem Solving distills the complexity of collaborative knowledge work into a set of simple principles, plays, and paths they can follow to solve pressing challenges, become effective team leaders, and integrate innovation and creativity into their workflow.

Introduced in 1973 by design theorists Horst Rittel and Melvin Webber, the term “wicked problem” refers to the specific type of problems that are impossible to solve with traditional methods due to their inherent complexity and uncertainty. The World Economic Forum ranks complex problem-solving as the single most valuable skill, yet the world’s problems – and the solutions aiming to solve them – are more complex and wicked than ever before, according to PMI research. As a result, professionals and businesses feel growing pressure to solve these problems and to become more sustainable and efficient while simultaneously tackling traditional challenges like managing distributed teams, applying emerging technologies, and bridging siloed organisations.

“By incorporating Wicked Problem Solving into our portfolio of tools and resources, PMI continues to provide innovative ways to deliver value and solve problems,” says PMI President and CEO Sunil Prashara. “Wicked Problem Solving incorporates the best of design thinking, agile, lean, project management, and other modern ways of working. This revolutionary approach will help professionals, teams and entire organizations to think creatively and navigate increasingly complex change.”

Wicked Problem Solving is more than a course – it’s a simple, but revolutionary approach that redefines how we frame and resolve challenges, as well as how we can bring out the best in our teams.” says Tom Wujec. “Wicked Problem Solving helps people organise their work into time-bound courses of action called plays. Each play produces a clear visual model that can foster clarity, generate new points of view, explore alternatives, and forge winning solutions. Designing and running better plays elevates a team with qualities the world needs now: the ability to comprehend and adapt quickly, to navigate complexity, and to bring more imagination and energy to their work.”

Wicked Problem Solving consists of visually rich tools and interactive training, delivering a uniquely creative approach to help learners and teams untangle any challenge, in any industry, and at any scale. The full program provides a breadth of useful, and engaging material, along with downloadable tools including:

  • A comprehensive video programme made up of twenty core lessons with hours of content highlighting the principles and practical techniques of Wicked Problem Solving, delivered through engaging live action and animations.
  • A dynamic workbook that expands on the video programme, providing learners the skills to assess how Wicked Problem Solving techniques can help them solve their own unique problems and challenges.
  • A playbook illustrating a vast range of plays addressing different types of challenges, from concise and simple to deep and “wicked.”
  • Three digital decks of Wicked Problem Solving Principles cards used to configure plays and designed for every phase from planning to use in meetings, and for reference.
  • Step-by-step interactive exercises organised on a playboard delivered through a digital whiteboard used by the learner to design and run plays, either solo or with collaborators.

After completion, individuals will not only be equipped to take on complex challenges utilising the workbook and plays and lead their teams to resolution, they will receive a digital badge to share on resumes and social media profiles. Step by step, users will work through their own specific, nuanced problems with Tom as their personal guide, giving them a portfolio of problems solved at the course’s completion.

About Project Management Institute

Project Management Institute (PMI) is the world’s leading professional association for a growing community of millions of project professionals and changemakers worldwide.

As the world’s leading authority on project management, PMI empowers people to make ideas a reality. Through global advocacy, networking, collaboration, research, and education, PMI prepares organisations and individuals to work smarter so they can drive success in a world of change.

Building on a proud legacy dating to 1969, PMI is a “for-purpose” organisation working in nearly every country around the world to advance careers, strengthen organisational success, and enable changemakers with new skills and ways of working to maximise their impact. PMI offerings include globally recognised standards, certifications, online courses, thought leadership, tools, digital publications, and professional communities.