How to Navigate Through Ambiguity

General Steps to Navigate Through Ambiguity

Step 1 - Understand the Expectation

  • What is your goal?
  • What will success look like?
  • Is this goal measurable?

Step 2 - Describe & Evaluate Current Situation

Step 3 - Categorise Goals with Cynefin Framework

  • Simple
  • Complex
  • Complicated
  • Chaos

Step 4 - Work backward

Apply the MECE Framework

  • Mutually
  • Exclusive
  • Collectively
  • Exhaustive

In general, the starting point for MECE is hard to determine.

What you can do is to use following methods and try to find the starting point, e.g.

Binary method:

  • men or women
  • married or singled
  • professional or amature


  • to solve a problem, you need to do step 1
  • step 2
  • step 3

Step 5 - Setup hypothesis and Build your plan

Step 6 - Iteratively evaluating your plan and calibrate with the Goal

General Note

  • Try to understand the why part first
  • Using Decision Tree method of thinking
  • Keep questioning, and keep asking the right questions
  • Try to convert unknown problems to known issues
  • Try to convert complex problems to simple, solvable problems


  • Observe
  • Oritented
  • Decided
  • Act