Personal Development
How to Write a Problem Statement (With 3 Examples)

How to Write a Problem Statement (With 3 Examples)

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Creating Problem Statements For Effective Problem Solving

Problem solving is an essential skill for leaders of any organization, particularly for those hoping to anticipate and address potential issues before they become expensive and disruptive. Developing a problem statement is an important early step in problem-solving that can provide a brief description of an issue you are looking to resolve. It is an important tool for honing managerial and organizational skills, as it allows you to take a proactive approach to problem-solving and move away from fire-fighting mode.

As humans, our natural tendency is to jump to a solution without fully understanding the problem. This can lead to bad decisions or half-formed solutions, and is often seen in emergency settings. In business, however, it is necessary to take the time to create a problem statement in order to identify the root cause of a complex problem and uncover potential opportunities for growth.

Identifying and Writing a Problem Statement

To create an effective problem statement, it is important to collect information and talk to stakeholders who are impacted by the problem. Different people will often perceive the same problem in different ways, and interviewing stakeholders will help you better understand the issue from multiple perspectives. It can also help to develop case studies to illustrate the problem.

When organizing a problem statement, it is important to provide a clear explanation of the issue and who it impacts. It should also focus on what you want to change and provide objectives you wish to reach. Knowing how to write a great problem statement will help to make sure you are focusing on the right issue and have an in-depth understanding of the root causes.

Utilizing Problem Statements

Problem statements can be used in many different settings. For an organization, this might mean resolving customer and employee issues. For the government, it could be about improving public health, while for individuals it can focus on enhancing their own personal well-being. Additionally, problem statements can help you:

  • Identify opportunities for improvement
  • Focus on the right problem or issue to launch successful initiatives
  • Communicate the problem to relevant stakeholders
  • Develop an action plan or goals to solve the problem
  • Stimulate creative brainstorming techniques

To illustrate this, let's look at a potential example. A company may be facing a significant challenge in managing customer service on-hold times. In the past, the company had been known for its efficient and timely customer service, but due to a combination of factors, including understaffing and increased customer demand, the on-hold times have exceeded five minutes consistently. In this case, a problem statement can help to identify the root cause of the problem and uncover potential opportunities to improve customer service.

Reducing Frustration and Dissatisfaction at Example Company

At Example Company, customers have unfortunately been experiencing long on-hold times, causing frustration and dissatisfaction. This has resulted in a negative impact on the company's reputation and customer loyalty. A problem statement for this situation could be:

"The customer service on-hold times of more than five minutes are causing customer frustration and dissatisfaction, leading to decreased customer loyalty and tarnishing the company's reputation."

The Benefits of Creating A Problem Statement

Creating a problem statement is a great exercise for leaders and team members alike. Not only does it help you gain a better understanding of the root cause of a problem, it also helps to focus everyone towards finding viable solutions. A well-crafted problem statement can help to move beyond reactive to proactive problem-solving, and open up new growth opportunities for the organization.

Reducing On-hold Times at Example Company

Reducing the on-hold times for Example Company's customer service callers is an integral part of enhancing the customer experience, as well as protecting the company's brand image. Prolonged waiting times are not only detrimental to customer satisfaction and loyalty, but they can lead to customer churn and a resulting loss of revenue.


  • Analyze the current customer service workflow and identify the bottlenecks leading to increased on-hold times.
  • Assess the staffing levels and resource allocation in order to pinpoint any issues with understaffing and its impact on customer service.
  • Develop and implement strategies to optimize the customer service workflow and reduce on-hold times.
  • Monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the implemented measures through key performance indicators such as average on-hold time, customer satisfaction ratings, and customer feedback.
  • Establish a sustainable approach to maintain reduced on-hold times through proper resource planning, training, and process improvements.

The Destination Problem Statement

Leaders at Example Company have set the goal of increasing the net revenue for their premium product line of widgets by 5% in the upcoming fiscal year. However, the company does not have the necessary teams or workforce in place to accomplish this. To reach this growth target, they need to expand their marketing and PR teams, as well as their product development teams, in order to prepare for scaling.


Example Company is faced with the challenge of generating a 5% increase in net revenue for its premium product line of widgets in the upcoming fiscal year. Currently, the company lacks the required workforce and resources to achieve this goal. Without adequate staff in the marketing, PR, and product development departments, the company's ability to effectively promote, position, and innovate its premium product line will be hindered. To reach the desired growth target, it is necessary that Example Company expands its teams, enhances their capabilities, and strategically taps into the existing pool of loyal customers.


Increasing net revenue for the premium product line is essential for Example Company's overall business success. A failure to achieve the targeted rate of growth could be a significant roadblock, resulting in missed revenue opportunities. By expanding the marketing and PR teams, Example Company can improve its brand presence in the market, effectively communicate the value proposition of its premium product line, and attract new customers. Additionally, a larger product development team can provide the company with the ability to introduce new features and product innovations, further enticing existing and potential customers. Therefore, addressing the workforce shortage and investing in the necessary resources are crucial for achieving the revenue growth objective.

Increasing Customer Satisfaction and Revenues for Example Company

Example Company is facing an urgent need to reduce on-hold times for customer service callers to improve customer satisfaction and loyalty, maintain a positive brand image, and generate potential revenue. To achieve this goal, the company has identified several objectives that need to be addressed. These objectives include:

  • Analyzing the current customer service workflow and identifying bottlenecks contributing to increased on-hold times.
  • Assessing staffing levels and resource allocation to determine the extent of understaffing and its negative impact on customer service.
  • Developing strategies and implementing measures to optimize the customer service workflow and reduce on-hold times.
  • Monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the implemented measures using key performance indicators (KPIs) such as average on-hold time, customer satisfaction ratings, and customer feedback.
  • Establishing a sustainable approach to maintain reduced on-hold times, taking into account both busy and slow seasons, through proper resource planning, training, and process improvements.

In addition, Example Company is also striving to increase net revenue for its premium product line of widgets by 5% in the next fiscal year. To do this, the company needs to expand its marketing and PR teams, as well as its product development teams. Hiring skilled professionals to promote the premium product line and engage with the target audience, and recruiting qualified individuals to drive innovation, enhance product features, and meet customer demands is essential. A comprehensive marketing and PR strategy must be developed to effectively communicate the value proposition of the premium product line and attract new customers. Leveraging the existing base of loyal customers to increase repeat purchases, referrals, and brand advocacy is also a key factor in reaching the desired growth rate.

Employee Engagement and Value Perception at Example Company

Example Company is also focused on improving its employee engagement and perceived value within the company. Over the past year, there has been a noticeable decline in the percentage of employees who feel valued. The quarterly employee engagement surveys consistently show that less than 30% of employees report a sense of value by the company. This decline is a significant 20% compared to the same period in the previous year. The company is determined to reduce this percentage to under 10%.

Employee engagement and a sense of value is essential for organizational success and it is clear that Example Company is taking steps to address these concerns. If the company is successful in meeting its objectives, they will be able to improve customer satisfaction, create a positive brand reputation, and achieve the desired growth rate.

The Significance of Employee Value Perception

When employees are made to feel valued, they are more likely to be productive, devoted, and motivated. On the other hand, a lack of perceived value can cause a decrease in enthusiasm, higher turnover rates, and impaired overall performance. It is thus important for Example Company to take the necessary steps to elevate employee value perception and guarantee organizational success.

Objectives of the Project

The main goal of this project is to enhance the percentage of employees who feel valued by Example Company, aiming to reduce it to less than 10%. The specific objectives encompass:

  • Carrying out an extensive examination of the causes of employees feeling less valued, such as company regulations, communication methods, direction techniques, and social norms.
  • Recognizing and appointing specialists, like employee commitment specialists or culture alter agents, who can supply expertise and direction in strengthening a culture of value and appreciation.
  • Formulating a total employee commitment method that involves different plans, including training courses, acknowledgment plans, feedback procedures, and communication methods, to enhance employee value perception.
  • Executing social adjustments within the organization that are in harmony with the values of appreciation, regard, and validation, while promoting an environment in which employees feel appreciated.
  • Disseminating the importance of employee value and commitment throughout all levels of the organization, such as leadership panels, directors, and supervisors, to ensure consistent messaging and assistance.
  • Assessing progress through recurrent employee polls, feedback periods, and key performance indicators (KPIs) associated with employee contentment, turnover rates, and general commitment levels.
  • Offering enduring help, resources, and training to supervisors and directors to empower them to capably identify and appreciate their teams and cultivate a culture of value within their respective divisions.
  • Constructing a lasting system for continuing high employee value recognition in the long run, including regular assessment and alteration of employee commitment initiatives to address changing requirements and outlooks.

Gathering Data to Resolve Problems

Accumulating information and observing the issue is the first step to solving the dilemma. Utilize data from research and reports, and facts from first-hand experience to respond to the five Ws - who, what, when, where, and why. Anytime possible, get out in the field and communicate with stakeholders influenced by the issue. Take a closer look at the work environment and tools. This may mean spending time on the creation floor questioning employees regarding their work and difficulties. Or take client service calls to find out more about customer dilemmas and problems your employees may be facing.

A suitably framed issue will aid you to dodge cognitive prejudice and open up dialogue. It will also stimulate the exploration of more prospects. A great method to check an issue statement for predisposition is to ask questions such as these - does the issue appear to only have one potential solution?

Securing Ambitious Revenue Growth Targets

Allocating sufficient resources, both time and manpower, to back up the advancement and scaling efforts necessary to reach the ambitious revenue development goal is essential. Tracking and examining key performance indicators (KPIs) such as web revenue, customer attraction, customer retention, and customer contentment to gauge the prosperity of the expansion strategies is also significant. Finally, forming a lasting plan to preserve the raised revenue growth beyond the upcoming fiscal year by executing schemes for regular advancement and adaptation to market dynamics is vital in order to guarantee long-term accomplishment.

Crafting an Effective Problem Statement

The ability to identify and develop a concise and effective problem statement is an important part of problem-solving. Doing so not only helps you to understand the challenge at hand more deeply and holistically, but also sets the stage to explore potential solutions. Here are a few key tips to help you develop an effective problem statement:

  • Clearly define the problem in unambiguous terms
  • Include measurable language such as numbers or percentages when applicable
  • Identify the fundamental causes of the problem
  • Start with an open mind; don't let the solution drive the problem definition
  • Remain open to growth opportunities that may arise

In addition to these tips, it's also important to stay agile and engage in interactive check-ins to ensure your team is making progress. Furthermore, remain curious and keep asking why until you feel satisfied with the answers. Crafting an effective problem statement that follows these rules makes it easier to identify solutions and helps to ensure that ideas are thoughtful and well-considered.

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