In this video, you'll learn how to create a problem statement for a project.
- [Voiceover] We've defined a project as a temporary endeavor with a unique goal. That goal is to accomplish something, like solve a problem or take advantage of an opportunity. The project goal drives every decision in the project, so you want to make sure you describe the underlying problem or opportunity correctly. You do this by putting together a problem statement. A problem statement clearly defines the problem you're trying to solve or the opportunity you want to take advantage of.
It doesn't have to be a long winded affair. If you can fit it into one sentence, all the better. Let's look at the Conference Center project. Several hotels targeting business travelers have been built in the area. As a result, room occupancy has decreased significantly and conference bookings are down as well. However, the overall demand for conference facilities has increased in San Francisco. The problem statement is "we've lost market share in a growing market "for conference facilities." Defining a problem can be a challenge because people often jump straight to solutions.
Solutions describe the end result, not the initial motivation. For example, end results might be "we need a new building." "We need a new website." "We need a new entrance." These aren't problem statements, they're solutions. One way to backtrack from a solution to the original problem is to ask why. Why do we need a new building? Why do we need a new website? Why do we need a new entrance? Don't be afraid to ask why more than once.
Then probe for more detail as the story unfolds. You can use the answers to get to the bottom of the problem and start uncovering more specific objectives for the project. The problem statement would be "we're losing market share "in a growing market for conference facilities, "specifically facilities catering "to high-tech clients." Go ahead and try writing a problem statement for the project you're working on.
Remember to keep it simple. Make sure you aren't writing a solution statement. Don't be afraid to ask why, as well as other questions, until you have a clear and simple problem statement that defines the underlying reason for your project.
Bonnie Biafore has always been fascinated by how things work and how to make things work better. In this course, she explains the fundamentals of project management, from defining the problem, establishing project goals and objectives, and building a project plan to managing team resources, meeting deadlines, and closing the project. Along the way, she provides tips for reporting on project performance, keeping a project on track, and gaining customer acceptance.
- Defining the components of a project
- What it takes to be a project manager
- Using project management software like Microsoft Project
- Managing project scope, budget, and schedule
- Managing project resources, including people
- Managing project risk
- Initiating a project
- Identifying and managing stakeholders
- Identifying requirements and deliverables
- Developing a project plan
- Building a project schedule
- Assigning resources to tasks
- Understanding the critical path
- Running the project
- Managing teams
- Monitoring performance
- Closing a project
Skill Level Beginner
1. Getting to Know Project Management
2. Exploring Project Management Knowledge Areas
3. First Things First
How to develop requirements4m 19s
4. Developing a Project Plan
5. Building a Project Schedule
6. While You Run the Project
7. Working with Teams
8. Monitoring and Controlling Progress and Performance
9. Closing a Project
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