It starts with meeting with the stakeholders, customers, and/or users affected by the issue (if possible) and learning about their pain points.
Since people often struggle with effectively communicating their issues, particularly to someone outside of the process, it is helpful to ask a series of “why” questions until the underlying reasoning is identified.
The problem statement simply recognizes the gap between the problem and goal states.
It can be said that, “a problem well stated is half solved.” However, there are often multiple, viable solutions to a problem.
The problem statement will be used to gain project support and approval from stakeholders. More importantly, the problem statement must be written clearly and accurately in order to deliver successful results.
A poorly crafted or incorrect problem statement will lead to a faulty solution, as well as wasted time, money, and resources.It makes clear the purpose for initiating the improvement project and the goals that it is meant to accomplish.Before the project begins, the stakeholders verify the problem and goals are accurately described in the problem statement.This method, known as the “5 Why’s”, helps drill down to the core problem as many of the experienced frustrations could be mere symptoms of the actual problem.The information collected from these initial interviews is only one part of problem analysis.A well-defined problem statement can also aid in performing root-cause analysis to understand why the problem occurred and ensure measures can be taken to prevent it from happening in the future.It is important to note that the problem statement does not define the solution or methods of reaching the solution.It is human nature to want to begin working on a solution as soon as possible and neglecting the definition of the true problem to be solved.However, a poorly defined problem increases the risk of implementing a solution that does not fully meet the expected results.Once this approval is received, the project team reviews it to ensure everyone understands the issue at hand and what they are trying to accomplish.This also helps define the project scope, which keeps the project concentrated on the overall goal.