- MemberDecember 13, 2021 at 12:22 am
What is the purpose of a problem statement in research?
A problem statement is a concise description of the problem or issues a project seeks to address.
The problem statement identifies the current state, the desired future state and any gaps between the two. A problem statement is an important communication tool that can help ensure everyone working on a project knows what the problem they need to address is and why the project is important. It also helps guide the activities and decisions of the people who are working on the project. The problem statement can help a business or organization gain support and buy-in for a process improvement project.
The four key elements you should include when writing a problem statement:
1. Ideal situation
The first thing your problem statement should describe is what the ideal situation would be if there wasn’t a problem you needed to address. This section identifies the goals and scope of the project are. This section should create a clear understanding of what the ideal environment will be once the issue has been resolved.
The next section of your problem statement should describe what the current reality is for your company or organization. This section will identify what the problem is, state why it is a problem and identify who the problem is impacting. It will also describe when and where the problem was identified.
The next section of your problem statement should identify what the consequences of the problem are. This section describes the effects of the problem by describing how the people affected by the problem are being impacted and quantifying how much the problem is impacting them. Common consequences can include the loss of time, money, resources, competitive advantage, productivity and more.
The proposal section of a problem statement may contain several possible solutions to the problem, but it is important to remember that it does not need to identify a specific solution. The purpose of the proposal section should be to guide the project team on how they can research, investigate and resolve the problem.
A good problem statement can be created by identifying and answering several questions related to the problem :
1. Identify the problem
Before you can begin writing your problem statement, you first need to identify what the problem is.
2. Begin your statement with your ideal situation
Next, you can begin writing your problem statement by describing what the ideal environment would look like if your problem didn’t exist. This section should try to describe what your company hopes to accomplish as a result of the process improvement project.
3. Describe current gaps
Next, write the reality section of your problem statement. Your goal in this section should be to clearly identify what the current environment looks like. In this section, you should identify what the problem is, what is causing the problem and why it is an issue. You should also describe when, where and how you were able to identify the problem.
4. State the consequences of the problem
Next, write the consequences section of your problem statement. This section is used to quantify and support the claim of what the problem is. You can use this section to identify specific numbers such as the amount of time or revenue being lost or the number of resources being wasted.