Stories and their lessons are enriched through different lenses: problems, contexts, scenarios.


Tome.gg has three important concepts when it comes to discussing and learning: problems, contexts, and scenarios.

We distinguish these terminologies as follows:

  1. Problems: Problem contexts can be considered as challenges or tasks that require a solution. They can be identified based on a situation that arises within a given context or scenario.

    • Problems usually have a goal to be achieved, and they involve identifying and overcoming obstacles to reach that goal. These are great tools for teaching problem-solving skills, programming logic, algorithms, and debugging skills.

    • Example: "A software engineer has to design an algorithm to efficiently sort a large list of names in ascending order. Identify the potential challenges and develop a solution."

  2. Contexts: Contexts can refer to the setting, environment, or circumstances in which a problem or scenario exists. Context provides a background that can affect how a problem is perceived, interpreted, or solved.

    • These can help your students understand why certain tools, frameworks, or techniques are more suited for certain situations than others.

    • Example: "You're working for a startup that has to manage a limited budget. Your team needs to develop a scalable application that can handle growing user traffic."

  3. Scenarios: Scenarios are specific instances that play out within a given context. They may or may not have a specific problem to solve but could just be a narrative or situation unfolding.

    • These are great for teaching about user experience, decision-making skills, and planning and design strategies.

    • You can think of scenarios as "Contexts + Action": A context sets the stage, but the scenario puts that stage into motion.

    • Example: "You have just rolled out a major update to your app, and a few hours later, you start receiving customer complaints about a specific feature not working properly. How do you respond?"



We talk about problems when we want to highlight the specific task or challenge that we want help in responding to. There usually is a very clear roadblock or challenge, and a clear win or victory condition.


We talk about contexts to describe the nature or characteristics of the environment, whether the social nature or the work culture of the organization. This can be focused on in varying levels, such as personal context (as an individual), team context, department context, or company or organization-wide context.


When we do role-play scenarios and interactive case studies, mentors flesh out the details of the context and the action necessary to be performed by the participants. Scenarios capture the "context + action" aspect of learning, and is one form of a training sandbox.

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