What is it good for?
- Getting clear about the core of the challenge you want to address
- Involving the team
When to use it
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.
- Plan a session with your team or stakeholders.
- 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?]
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.
- Then ask the team: Why do we have this problem? Write it down, following the same format as above.
- Ask Why again. Write it down.
- 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.