Feedback Requested: Business, Government, and Military Problem-solving hierarchies

I am working on a book on the Extreme Presentation method of presentation design. In fact most of the writing is done. But there is a piece that I am still wrestling with. Part of the Extreme Presentation method involves understanding what problem your audience has that your presentation will focus on. For business audiences I use the Business Problem-solving Hierarchy to help identify the audience problem. You start at the top of the diagram, with the most general problem (which for business is basically inadequate returns: not making enough money on our investment) and then work your way down the tree until you find the specific problem that is most relevant to your audience. Is the problem with investment levels, or profit levels? If the latter, is this because sales are too low, or costs too high? And so on. Here’s the Business Problem-solving Hierarchy:


So far so good. But one of the reviewers of the book manuscript has suggested that it would be good to provide similar hierarchies for non-business situations, namely government or other not-for-profit, and military. So here, with the help of friends in the Pentagon and the Federal Government, are preliminary drafts of Government/Not-for-profit and Military Problem-solving Hierarchies. (Click on each image to see a larger version; pdfs are at the bottom of this post).

I am very interested in receiving feedback on these two. If you current work in Government, Not-for-profit, or the Military, let me know:

– Is this how you think about problem-solving?
– Are the structure and terminology right?
– What would you add, change, or delete?

You can reply by commenting on this post, or by emailing me directly: a.v.abela(at)

Thank you for your help.



And here are pdf versions of each:

Download Business.pdf

Download GovernmentNFP.pdf

Download Military.pdf

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