What is a problem statement?
A problem statement is a clear and concise sentence that seeks to explain the specific problem that needs to be solved.
Many people believe that the key to getting solving problems is by asking the right questions in the first place. The more clarity around what your team is attempting to fix, the more efficient they’ll be in coming up with ideas to solve the problem. But coming up with the right problem statement is not as easy as it sounds.
Which is why we’ve developed this simple problem statement template that you can use to help you craft the perfect problem statement.
When are problem statements used?
Project problem statement
When working on a specific project, teams may come across specific project-based problems. These problems may be completely new, so you may not be well-equipped to solve them. That’s why it’s important to understand the root cause of the problem, not the symptoms of the problem, by creating a specific project problem statement.
Business problem statement
In businesses, writing a problem statement is an important step in problem solving. A clearly defined and well-understood problem is the crucial first step that will help team members identify problems and find the best solutions. A problem statement usually takes the form of a short, sharp and succinct sentence that addresses a real human-centric problem.
Research problem statement
Researchers in academia and science write problem statements to help give context and relevance to their research topic. In this case, problem statements can range from just a few sentences for example in the introduction to a paper, or multiple paragraphs to explain a research proposal.
How to use the problem statement template
We’ve created a simple template that takes the guesswork out of crafting succinct business or project problem statements. It’s designed to enable you to build empathy towards your customers by identifying their problems. This will enable you to find user-centric solutions.
- I am – In this space describe who your customer is, their persona, segment and needs.
- I’m trying to – Describe what the customer wants to accomplish by interacting with your brand.
- But – Describe the barriers that exist to stop them accomplishing this and what frustrations they may have.
- Because – Describe the root cause of the problem, which may be something like a tech problem, or an area where you need to further educate your customers.
- Which makes me feel – Describe the emotional impact on the customer when they face this barrier.
Now you have the basis of your problem statement, simply copy it out into one succinct sentence. This process will ensure you get to the crux of the issue so you can then focus on finding the right solutions.
If you want to continue learning, why not check out Design Thinking, a creative problem solving technique designed to apply principles of design to the world of technology and business. Read more here to discover how Conceptboard can ignite creativity, foster innovation and accelerate problem solving at every stage in a remote Design Thinking workshop.
Or to access our vast library of business tools, resources and templates that you can use to jumpstart your online collaboration and problem solving, visit the blog.