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Context Is Everything

Right along side with POSIWID (the Purpose Of a System Is What It Does), one of my favorite sayings is CIE (Context Is Everything).

Given a problem to solve and a person (or team) designated to solve it, the person will seek a solution in accordance with the constraints imposed on him/her by the surrounding context. As the figure below shows, his/her perceptions and thoughts of the problem will be colored by the context. The problem itself will most likely be perceived differently as a function of the context (as signified in the picture by slightly different poop types). In one or more contexts, the problem might not even be perceived as a problem at all (it’s not a bug, it’s a feature)!


While writing this post, I suddenly realized that there is no difference between the word “context” and “culture” –  but only in the context of this post. 😀


  1. Dick Danjin
    May 27, 2014 at 7:11 am

    Otherwise stated “never attempt to solve a problem ,except in the largest system within which it exists “

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