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What are some of the important terms relating to problem definition and stakeholder satisfaction?

Answered by Robert Halligan

A number of terms related to problem definition are defined below. Problem definition is critically important to the achievement of stakeholder satisfaction. Some definitions are perfectly general, and are therefore applicable to an engineering context, whilst other definitions are specifically framed for an engineering context.

Desire:
1. an unsatisfied longing or craving (Oxford English Dictionary)
2. a conscious unsatisfied wish for something (Robert Halligan)

Expectation:
1. an instance of expecting or looking forward (Oxford English Dictionary)
2. something which is expected or predicted (Robert Halligan)

Goal:
1. the object of a person’s ambition or effort; a destination; an aim (Oxford English Dictionary)
2. a desired characteristic of an item (product or service), usually for which a solution will be pursued, subject to trade-offs with other goals (Robert Halligan)
3. something to which one aspires for a program, or a point aimed at for achievement (United States Defense Systems Management College)

Measure of Effectiveness (MOE): a measure, beyond requirements, such that more or less of the characteristic represents a better solution (Robert Halligan)

Measure of Performance (MOP): a measure of how well something is done, or is to be done. Note that a MOP may, or may not, be an MOE. (Robert Halligan)

Need:
1. a condition of lacking or requiring some necessary thing, either physically or psychologically (Oxford English Dictionary)
2. something which is lacking in relation to some purpose (Robert Halligan)

Operational Effectiveness: a measure, beyond requirements, which brings together individual measures of effectiveness which are related to end use, into an overall measure (Robert Halligan)

Overall Effectiveness: a measure, beyond requirements, which brings together individual measures of effectiveness into an overall measure (Robert Halligan)

Requirement:
1. an order, a demand, an imperative, a dependence for success or fulfillment (Oxford English Dictionary)
2. some characteristic demanded or deemed an imperative, of something by someone (Robert Halligan)

Target: see “Goal”

Want:
1. wish for possession of (Oxford English Dictionary)
2. (noun) a wish for satisfaction of (Robert Halligan)
3. (verb) to wish for satisfaction of (Robert Halligan)

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