Ladder of Abstraction

Niki Jobson (Dr)
23 January 2017

This short presentation will give an overview of the Ladder of Abstraction, a simple but effective tool for helping practitioners and their customers identify the most appropriate level at which to tackle a stated problem and explore a broader range of potential solutions. A real example will be worked through to demonstrate its application.

Dr. Niki Jobson is a Principal systems consultant at the Defence Science and Technology Laboratory, a visiting Fellow at Cranfield University (Shrivenham) and a non-executive director of SCiO. She has worked in the Defence and Security environment for 20 years focusing on the design of holistic approaches and frameworks that enable problem owners to explore, define and structure their problem situation and establish options for addressing them. Her philosophy is that the breadth and complexity of the problems experienced demands the application of multiple-methods that span both “soft” and “hard” disciplines (systems thinking to systems engineering) and encourage an appropriate balance of divergent and convergent thinking.