Definition: CATWOE is a checklist of 6 aspects to stimulate thought and to completely describe any complex or 'soft' system or issue.
The acronym was defined by Checkland as a part of his Soft Systems Methodology:
- Customer. Everyone who benefits or suffers from the issue.
- Actor. Transform inputs into outputs and performs the activities in the system.
- Transformation process. The conversion of inputs to outputs.
- World view (Weltanschauung). The big picture, real problem you're trying to sollve.
- Owner. The position of the one who has the power to start up, shut down or veto the system.
- Environmental constraints such as ethical legal, financial considerations.


More on problem analysis: 5W2H Analysis, 8 Disciplines, 80-20 Rule, Affinity Diagram, Alternative Hypothesis, more...


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