Every company wants to have a team of employees capable of showing great ability in tackling unforeseen or complicated circumstances while at work. Such employees can achieve this by examining possible issues effectively and thinking of feasible solutions. In addition, the employee needs to have a problem statement to display a clear vision and the overall to be used in solving a specific problem.
The problem statement addresses possible intangible or tangible issues that employees experience as they handle a particular project. For further insights on the problem statement, here’s an in-depth guide on everything you need to know.
What Is a Problem Statement?
The problem statement refers to a statement of an existing problem or issue that needs to be acted upon right away to better the situation. This statement explains the hindrance to a current issue concisely between the operational process and/ or product and the existing state of affairs. The problem statement needs to be entirely objective to concentrate on problem facts and omitting any subjective opinions.
To simplify the problem statement, you need to ask who, when, what, why, and where to make your problem statement’s structure. Doing this makes it simpler to create and read, making the issue a lot more understandable and solvable. Other than stating the pressing issue, the problem statement should also lead to the suggestion of a quick and compelling explanation.
Key Benefits of Writing a Problem Statement
The project statement acts as a communication tool, making it crucial to persons, businesses, and other entities when developing improvements focused on projects. Regardless of whether the issue is relating to logistics for the construction of an island or badly-required road work, it needs to be short and clear. This will be helpful to the project team to know how to define and understand an issue and come up with possible solutions. In addition, a problem statement offers vital information needed during decision-making that relates to the processes or projects.
Problem Statements Assist In Guiding Projects
The project statement offers you a guide to navigating a project after it starts. It’s usually constantly referenced during the project to assist the team in remaining focused and on track. You should also refer back to the project statement once the project is almost finished to confirm whether the solution has been put in place as mentioned earlier and undoubtedly addresses the initial issue. This will help ensure proper steps are taken to avoid a similar issue arising at a future date.
It’s important to remember that the problem statement doesn’t aim to define the solution or state how to reach it. Instead, it only starts the process by identifying an issue.
Problem Statements Have Numerous Purposes
There are numerous uses of a problem statement. One such purpose is to recognize and explain an issue in a short and detailed manner to offer the reader a better view of everything that’s happening. This consists of;
- Stating the impacts
- Recognizing the persons impacted by the problem
- Where the problem happens
- Why the problem needs fixing
The problem statement also elaborates what the expected results are. By identifying the anticipated solution would assist in offering the project an overarching idea. The problem statement makes the projected solution, scope, and objectives clear.
Problem Statement Templates & Examples
How to Write a Problem Statement
The problem statement needs to be written clearly and accurately. After all, this document is used by stakeholders and management to offer support and project approval. Here are the key elements you should observe when writing a problem statement to ensure it does have a positive effect.
Elaborate How Things Need To Work
You’ll need to start by offering context when starting your problem statement to make understanding the issue a lot simpler. This means beginning by explaining how the to proceed needs to work. Go ahead and briefly discuss how this process would function if the current issue wasn’t in existence before stating the issue and mind the end-user. For instance, if you’ve got an idea of boosting the efficiency of processes to make the most of available resources. It would be best to start by explaining a theoretical situation where the system is more efficient. From there, you can work towards a proposal while factoring in what, where, who, why, and when to ensure you remain on track.
Describe The Problem And The Reason It Matters
The problem statement, other than stating the problem, needs to show why it’s vital to have the issue resolved. By doing this, all the “W” questions will be answered organically. For instance, why should a problem be fixed? This is because it hinders the effectiveness of departments X, Y, and Z hence causing a rise in customer prices and wastage of resources. This answer addresses the question of what’s the problem, why the problem needs to be fixed, and who the problem affects.
It’s also vital you remember to consider adding the attempts already made to try and resolve the issue and why they all failed. In addition, make sure to explain everything about the existing problem you know briefly.
Elaborate Your Issue’s Financial Costs
As you explain the problem to the decision-makers, it’s crucial to state the detriments of not resolving this issue. After all, businesspeople only use the money to understand the seriousness of a problem better. Therefore, showing the financial impact of such a problem is the best and easiest way of showing the problem and explaining the proposed solution in terms of the financial costs.
For instance, when a problem is costing the company a significant sum of money while ruining its reputation, indirectly affecting it from making money, or preventing it from generating more money, explain the issue clearly and precisely so they can understand.
Back-Up Your Claims
You need to show proof that an issue is indeed costing the company money after making such an accusation. Otherwise, your claim will be disregarded. Therefore, make sure to do exhaustive research on this matter and cite your sources, and with you have the data you’ll be presenting.
Suggest A Solution
Your problem statement needs to explain the suggested solutions to an issue. When this happens, your attention shouldn’t be on finding one solution but instead, get a great understanding of what exactly is causing the problem. Likewise, be ready to suggest practical methodologies to understanding and resolving it. Also, mention your goals by proposing clearly stated plans for pinpointing the problem.
Explain Benefits of The Suggested Solutions
By now, you’ve elaborated an ideal scenario where the issue isn’t there altogether, pinpointed the issue, explained the downsides of not resolving the problem, and proposed sensible approaches to find a solution. After this, go ahead to show why a particular solution does work, this time as you focus on your solution’s financial impact and efficiency. Also, state how your solution will increase revenue streams, lower your expenses, and its intangible benefits like better client satisfaction. This shouldn’t be too long and, instead, be in one short paragraph.
Finish By Recapping The Problem And Solution
The last part comprises of a problem, the reason it should be fixed, and a concise argument stating why your solution is the problem’s ideal answer. By sticking to this format, the parties involved will better understand the issue and be more willing to listening to the best solution.
Tips for Writing a Problem Statement
When writing the problem statement, there are a couple of tips you should observe throughout. Here’s an overview of the essential tips you must follow;
- Define the issue by writing a problem statement and showing why it’s vital to solve the problem.
- Clarify the vision of exactly what you’re hoping to achieve.
- Determine the context of the problem.
- Determine the precise significance the problem has to the company.
- Recognize the gap between your desired goal and the current situation.
- Make a business case for the problem statement by including emotional appeals, statistics, or rhetorical tools.
- Choose a suitable problem-solving technique to show the decision-makers you’re equally concerned with solving the issue.
- Go over the 5Ws and an H as these are questions that should always be answered as you write the problem statement.
The problem statement aims to highlight current problems that are hindering a company from better achieving its goals. If you wanted an idea of how to better present the problem statement, this guide has highlighted all the important details that will help prepare this statement.