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This method, known as the “5 Why’s”, helps drill down to the core problem as many of the experienced frustrations could be mere symptoms of the actual problem.The information collected from these initial interviews is only one part of problem analysis.
Therefore, it is just as essential to gather knowledge, information, and insights from project team members and subject matter experts concerning the problem.
Additional research materials, including work instructions, user manuals, product specifications, workflow charts, and previous project plans may also need to be consulted.
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.
The problem statement is referenced throughout the project to establish focus within the project team and verify they stay on track.
At the end of the project, it is revisited to confirm the implemented solution indeed solves the problem.
Additionally, the problem statement is used to explain what the expected environment looks like.
Defining the desired condition provides an overall vision for the process or product.
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.