When I am brought in on a project, I initially meet with the product owner and product managers. This is the beginning of our project and you have a problem you are looking to solve. I need to learn more about this problem so where do we begin? With Problem Definition.

so now what?

Let’s begin by defining the problem. Before we jump into solutions, we need to understand the problem and clarify what indeed is the issue. Let’s start with what you know.

  • What is the problem?
  • Who has this problem? Which clients and users?
  • Where in the business does this problem occur?
  • When does the problem occur?
  • What do we know about why it happens?
  • What business outcomes are desired in solving this problem?
  • How will business outcomes be measured?

Note: At this time we are not looking for solutions, just the definition.

A clearly defined problem with clearly defined outcomes will be valuable throughout the project and needs to be understood by the team at all levels. The best managed projects continually revisit the problem and the desired outcomes to keep everyone on the same page and surging toward the same goal.

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