Creating a clear and agreed-upon Problem Statement BEFORE your team moves to identifying solutions is a proactive decision-making process.
A Problem Statement helps
- define the most critical elements for resolving a team conflict or it can help
- identify the boundaries for a team improvement opportunity.
Writing a Problem Statement
In developing your problem statement, you need to
- Finish the sentence “The problem is…”
- Test your problem statement against the guidelines below
Problem Statement Guidelines
A Problem Statement simply defines the problem.
- It does not suggest the solution
- It describes what needs improvement – not why
- It is specific (what is seen/heard or not seen/heard) in its definition of the problem, thereby avoiding generalities that leave room for varied interpretations
- It is not stated as a question
- It identifies or reports the cost of the issue which could be used as the business justification for action
- It identifies both the objective and subjective baseline measures
It takes a couple of meetings to create a clear Problem Statement because teammates may need to conduct more research to help the team to create a good Problem Statement.
In the download, you will find some good and poor Problem Statement examples.
Download this exercise and get started creating Right-Minded Teamwork in your team, today!
PS. I used this exercise many times in my four-decade team facilitation career. It works. I promise!