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How to Write a Problem Statement (With 3 Examples) - Shiken

How to Write a Problem Statement (With 3 Examples) - Shiken

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Understand Problem Statements for Achieving Success

Success in today's economy requires an innovative approach to developing business. High performing teams, employees with job satisfaction, and corporate agility are part of the key ingredients for any business success. To develop these skills and ensure business success, organizations use Shiken to create thriving workforces, reach desired goals, and foster growth. It's important to recognize that identifying and understanding the core issues is a critical step in problem-solving, and a problem statement is a valuable tool to define a problem and reach effective solutions.

What is a Problem Statement?

A problem statement is a short, clear description of an issue that needs to be solved. It helps to focus on the problem, why it's important, and who it impacts. The purpose of a problem statement is to create awareness and stimulate creative thinking, not to identify a solution or create a bias. Developing a well-crafted problem statement is essential for you and your team to reach the best solutions.

When to Use a Problem Statement

The best time to create a problem statement is before you start thinking of solutions. Writing a problem statement is a great way to carefully identify the root cause of a problem and come up with viable solutions. This is true for brainstorming sessions, executive summaries for a project proposal, designing a user experience, and tackling a problem that previous actions failed to solve.

How to Identify a Problem Statement

Identifying the root cause of a problem can be a challenge. To ensure you're focusing on the right issue, start by breaking down the problem into its core components. Consider who will be impacted by the outcome and what strategies could lead to a successful solution. This process helps to identify potential solutions and determine which will have the greatest chance of success.

Once you have a list of potential solutions, it's important to evaluate them and refine accordingly. This iterative process is essential for testing and refining solutions to identify the most effective outcome. Additionally, brainstorming with your team and inviting outside experts to give input can help to ensure the best solution is reached.

Strategies for Crafting an Effective Problem Statement

Now that you have a good grasp of how to recognize and relate a problem statement, here are some ideas to help you generate a fruitful statement:

  • Enlist the proper stakeholders in the process. It is essential to include significant stakeholders during the problem statement's formation to make sure they are invested in the results.
  • Specify the aim. Be sure that your problem statement is targeting an objective which can be solved.
  • Keep it brief and concise. Problem statements should be succinct and clear.
  • Be precise. Make sure to be as precise as possible while pinpointing the starting point of the issue as well as the potential solutions.
  • Make it measurable. Include metrics that can be monitored to determine if the problem is resolved.
  • Enlist your team. Consider having your group brainstorm concepts and proposals and ask questions when there is hesitation or confusion.

By utilizing these strategies, you can create impactful problem statements that can assist you and your team to take more proactive and creative problem-solving approaches. With an understanding of what problem statements are, when and how to use them, and how to create effective statements, you're ready to take on bigger and smaller endeavors.

Uncovering the Source of a Problem

To accurately trace the origin of a problem, it is important to obtain data from research and previous experience, as well as speak to various stakeholders who are affected by the problem. Individuals are likely to have different views of a problem which is why talking to stakeholders to get contrasting perspectives can be beneficial in forming research studies that portray the issue. Combining this data with research details helps to accurately determine root causes that can direct to more reasonable resolutions.

Problem statements are used for various reasons, such as displaying solutions for customer and employee problems, strengthening public health, or increasing individual well-being. Problem statements can be used to discover areas for development, focus on the correct issues or problems to initiate successful initiatives, communicate an issue to those involved in the solution, provide a basis to develop an action plan or objectives to aid in solving the issue, and prompt inventive brainstorming methods. It can be of assistance to examine an example of a problem statement as well as comprehend any differences of opinions that may arise concerning what a problem statement should appear as. Generally, a competent problem statement should be brief, preferably in one sentence; it should also be particular and illustrative without being prescriptive.

Problem Statement Example

Problem- The regular customer service on-hold time for Example company exceeds five minutes during both its active and idle seasons. The company lacks personnel and customer service representatives are struggling.

Background- Example company is going through a considerable difficulty in controlling their customer service on-hold times. In the past, the company had been known for its efficient and prompt customer service but because of a variety of reasons, such as staff shortage and mounting customer demand, the on-hold times have been consistently surpassing five minutes. This has led to dissatisfaction and frustration among customers, adversely influencing the company's prestige and customer loyalty.

Relevance- Lowering the on-hold times for customer service callers is critical for Example company. Prolonged waiting times have a detrimental effect on customer satisfaction and devotion, resulting in potential customer loss and reduction of revenue. Furthermore, the company's flagging reputation in terms of customer service can cause a lasting mark on its competitive situation in the market.

Addressing this problem is essential to enhance customer experience and continue to keep a positive brand image.

Objectives- The primary goal of this project is to reduce the on-hold times for customer service callers at Example company. The particular aims comprise of-

  • Investigating the existing customer service procedure and determining bottlenecks contributing to heightened on-hold times.Increasing Net Revenue for Example Company's Premium Product Line
  • Leaders at Example company have set a goal to increase net revenue for its premium product line of widgets by 5% for the next fiscal year. To reach this goal and optimize their business model, the company needs to invest in the necessary teams and resources to expand their marketing, PR, and product development departments. Gathering the necessary information and talking to stakeholders affected by the problem can help uncover the root cause. This would lead to the development of a problem statement specific to the company that is brief, descriptive, and able to stimulate thinking beyond the current framework.
  • The objectives of the project include analyzing the customer service workflow, assessing the staffing levels, developing strategies and implementing measures to reduce on-hold times, monitoring and evaluating the effectiveness of the measures taken, and establishing a sustainable approach to maintain reduced on-hold times. This would include:
  • Assessing the staffing levels and resource allocation to determine the extent of understaffing and its 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 through 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.
  • Improving Employee Value and Engagement
  • In the last three quarterly employee engagement surveys, less than 30% of employees at Example Company reported that they feel valued by the company. This highlights the need for a comprehensive employee engagement strategy in order to retain and motivate staff.
  • The primary objective of this project is to reduce the percentage of employees who feel valued by Example Company to under 10%. To do this, the company must conduct an analysis of the factors that contribute to the decline in employee value, fill specialized roles, develop and implement a holistic employee engagement strategy, implement cultural changes, communicate the importance of employee value and engagement, monitor progress, provide ongoing support, and create a sustainable framework.
  • Working with Problem Solving to Strengthen Organizational Effectiveness
  • Problem solving is an integral part of leadership and is important for any successful organization. Crafting an effective problem statement requires utilizing the five W's (who, what, when, where, and why/how), assessing who and what is affected, understanding the magnitude and discrepancy between the desired and current state, as well as gathering data and examining potential cognitive bias. Here are some useful tips for strengthening your problem statements and achieving successful outcomes.
  • 1. Refining the Problem Statement
  • Start the process by determining if the statement is addressing the root cause of the problem or just a symptom. Consider the problem in terms of time, money, and people. Ask probing questions to generate ideas and possibilities for more suitable solutions. If the problem statement is stimulating brainstorming and discussion, then you are on the right track!
  • 2. Continually Ask "Why" and Check Progress
  • Keep inquiring and challenging yourself to get to the underlying issue. Aim for permanent solutions rather than short-term fixes. Have periodic check-ins with team members to ensure everyone is on the same page and working towards the same goals.
  • 3. Develop Leadership Abilities
  • Leaders need a range of skills from creating a vision to motivating their team to act on it. To become a more effective leader, invest in developing the right leadership skills. This includes resilience, adaptability, and fostering a sense of well-being and mutual respect among team members.
  • Developing the Millionaire Mindset
  • The millionaire mindset is all about acquiring self-discipline and making well-advised decisions. Self-discipline is key to achieving goals, but it is not always easy to develop. Here are some tactics to help you begin the process:
  • Set achievable goals - Break big goals into bite-sized chunks.
  • Create accountability - Recruit a mentor or friend to keep you accountable.
  • Start small - Implement simple routines such as waking up early or scheduling breaks throughout the day.
  • Understanding Distraction in the Federal Workforce
  • Being present but unengaged, or 'presenteeism' can be hazardous to the safety, effectiveness, and output of the federal workforce. To combat this, organizations should be prepared to accommodate changes from external factors. Interactive check-ins with team members are recommended to keep everyone on track and unified.
  • Unlocking Performance Potential
  • Learn from experts like Salesforce's Vicky Nisbet, Dr. Martin Seligman, and Shiken's Dr. Gabriella Rosen Kellerman.
  • Understand the concept of organizational effectiveness and how it can lead to growth.
  • Familiarize yourself with The Golden Circle and grasp how it can be applied to your organization.
  • Identifying Action Items
  • Action items are a helpful way to keep track of objectives and make sure everyone is aware of their duties. Here are some useful tactics for remaining organized and on task:
  • Write down expectations - Keep notes on what is expected of each individual.
  • Prioritize - Establish a timeline and stick to it.
  • Communicate - Stay connected with team members.
  • How to Create Action Items and Ensure Your Team is On Track
  • Creating a successful action plan for your team starts with understanding what workforce management is and why it is necessary for your organization. Workforce management is a strategy that helps keep your team on track, provides data that can be used to make better decisions, and ensures your goals are being met.
  • 3 Reasons Your Company Needs Workforce Management
  • It keeps your team focused on the common goals of the organization.
  • It provides data-driven insights to make better decisions.
  • It helps your organization reach success.
  • These are just a few of the reasons why workforce management is important for any organization. By implementing a workforce management strategy, you can not only ensure that your team is working together towards your organization's goals but also track how effective your team is at reaching those goals.

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