International Project Management Day




How do I know if I found the right problem statement?

How do I know if I found the right problem statement?
Once you've identified or written a tentative problem statement, evaluate it by asking the following questions, which will help ensure that you've discovered or crafted the right problem statement
  1. Is it a self-standing problem, or a symptom of a larger problem? Thinking along these lines, and leveraging tools such as root cause analysis, will help you be sure that you aren't merely fixing a symptom.
  2. Is it a problem that the business can solve? Many organizations struggle with problems that are outside their control. For example, the rising cost of fuel is a problem, but it's one that most organizations can't solve. They can implement solutions to offset their fuel costs, or reduce their use of fuel, but they can't directly impact rising costs.
  3. Is it a problem the business should solve? Problems are sometimes inherent in the business. For example, training new regional managers takes up to a year, due to the rich variety of profitable business markets, and the long list of valued clients. Should the business shorten the training requirement by neglecting some of its profitable business markets, or by slashing its list of valuable clients? Certainly not!
  4. Is it a problem the business wants to solve? Sometimes, the problem is evident, but there isn't sufficient support within the organization to solve it. In this case, you'll want to avoid getting tangled up in the problem statement, since there's no desire to solve it in the first place, and no amount of effort will bring a solution.
  5. Will solving the problem make other problems go away? It's often possible to make a compelling case for a solution that will favorably impact other problems. You might consider giving high priority to projects with expansive solutions.










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