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.
Once the problem is understood and the circumstances driving the project initiation are clear, it is time to write the problem statement.
It makes clear the purpose for initiating the improvement project and the goals that it is meant to accomplish.
Before the project begins, the stakeholders verify the problem and goals are accurately described in the problem statement.
Focusing on the facts, the problem statement should be designed to address the Five Ws.
The first condition of solving a problem is understanding the problem, which can be done by way of a problem statement.
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.
It starts with meeting with the stakeholders, customers, and/or users affected by the issue (if possible) and learning about their pain points.
Since people often struggle with effectively communicating their issues, particularly to someone outside of the process, it is helpful to ask a series of “why” questions until the underlying reasoning is identified.