Statement of the Problem

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A problem statement is a very common feature that is often seen within businesses and corporations. Basically, it is a list and description of problems that is given to a problem solving team as a sort of brief before they attempt to solve the problems. If you are putting together a team with the purpose to solve these problems, then some sort of problem statement is essential.

Problem statements can all be different lengths and contain as little as one problem to dozens of them, but all good problem statement should contain the following elements.

Firstly there should be a detailed description of what the problem actually is. This section should also explain exactly why the team is needed.

Secondly you should say who has the problem, in other words, who is your businesses' client or customer. This section should also tell the team who needs you to come up with this solution and who will be the person to decide whether or not the problem has actually been solved.

The third section can sometimes be the most complex as in this one you need to say what form the solution should be in, although this ultimately depends on what the problem is. What restrictions are in place on the solution e.g. Time, budget and resources? What is the scope of resources that can be used to try and solve the problem? When you believe you have solved the problem will your client want a white paper report?

A research worthy problem is the description of an active challenge faced by researchers who have yet to find an adequate solution. A research worthy problem should address six questions: What, how, where, why, when and who. The statement of the problem is simply one or two sentences that answer the question: What problem will the research address?
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