Boost your digital skills

1. Problem statement

Clarify the main challenge or problem you're trying to address

Last updated on October 21, 2021

What is it good for?

  • Getting clear about the core of the challenge you want to address
  • Involving the team

When to use it

At the start of the project, before you tackle your knowledge board. You could do this activity with your team in the same kick-off workshop session.

How to use it

Figuring out which problem you want to solve sounds like it should be easy, but it can actually take a bit more thought than you'd imagine.

To really dig into your problem, it's helpful to run an exercise with your stakeholders called the 5 Whys exercise. It's a technique that uses repetition to drill into a problem, often highlighting the true cause of the problem - therefore showing you where you need to focus for the rest of your project.

  1. Plan a session with your team or stakeholders.
  1. As a group, agree and write down the problem you want to tackle. Try to keep it simple. Here's a structure you can follow: When [who are the people affected by the problem?] are [what is the situation?] then [what problem arises?]. This means [what are the effects of the problem?]
    1. Here's an example:

      When people seeking legal support are unable to confirm an appointment then they miss their legal appointments. This means they don't receive the legal support they need.

  1. Then ask the team: Why do we have this problem? Write it down, following the same format as above.
  1. Ask Why again. Write it down.
  1. You can do this up to 5 times, but see where you get to - you might land on your core problem after 3-4 times.