Steps in writing a problem statement

The Thesis Statement The thesis statement is that sentence or two in your text that contains the focus of your essay and tells your reader what the essay is going to be about. Although it is certainly possible to write a good essay without a thesis statement many narrative essaysfor example, contain only an implied thesis statementthe lack of a thesis statement may well be a symptom of an essay beset by a lack of focus. Many writers think of a thesis statement as an umbrella: The thesis statement is also a good test for the scope of your intent.

Steps in writing a problem statement

Purpose[ edit ] The main purpose of the problem statement is to identify and explain the problem. This includes describing the existing environment, where the problem occurs, and what impacts it has on users, finances, and ancillary activities.

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Defining the desired condition provides an overall vision for the process or product. It makes clear the purpose for initiating the improvement project and the goals that it is meant to accomplish.

It helps with obtaining buy-in from those involved in the project. 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 scopewhich keeps the project concentrated on the overall goal. At the end of the project, it is revisited to confirm the implemented solution indeed solves the problem.

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. The problem statement simply recognizes the steps in writing a problem statement between the problem and goal states.

Only after the problem statement is written and agreed upon should the solution s be discussed and the resulting course of action determined. 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. A problem cannot be solved if it is not completely understood.

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Many times the problem extends to multiple areas or functions to which the stakeholders, customers, and users are unaware. They may also be familiar with what is happening on the surface but not necessarily the underlying cause.

Therefore, it is just as essential to gather knowledge, information, and insights from project team members and subject matter experts concerning the problem.

Like most other stages in the process improvement project, defining the problem is often iterative as several rounds of discussions may be needed to get the full picture. Writing the problem statement[ edit ] The problem statement will be used to gain project support and approval from stakeholders.

As such, it must be action-oriented. A poorly crafted or incorrect problem statement will lead to a faulty solution, as well as wasted time, money, and resources. First, the problem statement must focus on the end user.

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Solution-bias stifles the creativity that arises while brainstorming a solution, which may result in a less-than-optimal experience for the user. While there are several options for doing this, the following is a simple and straightforward template often used in Business Analysis to maintain focus on defining the problem.

It identifies the goals of the stakeholders and customers as well as assists in defining scope. At large, this section should illustrate what the expected environment would look like once the solution is implemented. It explains the pain points expressed by the stakeholders and customers.

It should also include the insights and expertise of the project team and subject matter experts provided during problem analysis.


This section is used to describe the impacts on the business if the problem is not fixed or improved upon. This includes costs associated with loss of money, time, productivity, competitive advantage, and so forth.

The magnitude of these effects will also help determine the priority of the project. This section is used to describe potential solutions. Once the ideal, reality, and consequences sections have been completed, understood, and approved, the project team can start offering options for solving the problem.

It can also include suggestions by the stakeholders and customers, although further discussions and research will be needed before a specific course of action can be determined.

steps in writing a problem statement

Example[ edit ] Problem statements can vary in length, depending on the complexity of the problem. The following is an example of a simple problem statement for the creation of a Single Sign On capability: IDEAL Ideally our users would be able sign into their laptops and then automatically have access to all of the applications they need to use.

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How to Define a Problem. In this Article: Example Problem Statements Gathering Information About the Problem Putting the Problem into Words Finding a Solution to the Problem Community Q&A You may encounter problems often in your personal life, in your professional life, and in your community.

Jul 09,  · How to Write a Problem Statement. In this Article: Article Summary Sample Problem Statements Writing Your Own Problem Statement Polishing Your Problem Statement Community Q&A A problem statement is a short, succinct explanation of a problem a business is facing and a proposed solution to the problem.

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Here's 16 steps and some gifs to create documented and actionable SOPs for your business! This article is a step-by-step guide to writing a statement of the problem for your research proposal. The first and most important step in any research is to identify and delineate the research problem.

How to Define a Problem: 12 Steps (with Pictures) - wikiHow