Why is the problem important?

This section is about problem definition. This sets the expectations for why a project should be undertaken in the first place. Identifying the importance of the problem before starting will help optimize how company resources are used. Relatedly, you will want to answer:

  • Why does this problem matter?
  • Is this a new problem or has it been solved already?

In this effort, you will want to engage with the different collaborators, both technical and non-technical, to understand how each person sees the problem. This is important to create alignment and support for the project to solve the problem.

Technology should not be included in defining the problem. Too much focus on methodology (i.e., some new analytical method or technology) or on deliverables (i.e., interactive dashboard, etc) can derail from the actual business problem. The problem should be articulated in a direct, clear language that everyone can understand. Think carefully about the problem to be solved as opposed to the technology to be used.