The traditional view is that hard problems - those susceptible to the software engineering approach - are in some sense easier to solve than soft problems / problem situations. Hard problems are (in theory) more easily scoped and their solutions more precisely defined and more easily achieved than is the case for soft or messy problems This paper suggests that this is not necessarily the case: reasons for failure in hard and soft environments have much in common. A case study will be used to support the argument
Spedding, Paul and Wood-Harper, Trevor, "Hard Failures - Soft Solutions" (1999). AMCIS 1999 Proceedings. 6.