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EducationProblem Definition Flow chart
By Eran Raviv
Category: Education. Viewed 575 times. Created October 2015.     Disclaimer.   
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This flowchart helps entrepreneurs fine tune their problem definition process.

                 
Square #1: Could this problem divide to smaller problems?
NO
Square #2: Does this problem statement include its solution?
NO
Square #3: Is the problem statement merely a symptom of the problem?
NO
Square #4: Is the problem definition actionable?
 

YES


YES


YES


NO

YES

Draw a flow chart that breaks the problem into sub-problems until you get to the problem you want to focus on. Then restate your problem in a manner it would be in its most granular state and go back to square #1
Write down what the explicit and implicit assumptions this problem definition rely on, then restate your problem in a manner it would focus on the problem and will not lean of a specific solution then go back to square #2
List other symptoms that may represent this problem, then restate your problem in a manner it would point to the problem rather than a symptom, then go back to square #1
Write down why hasn't the problem been solved by now. Restate your problem in a manner it would be actionable and solvable then go back to square #1
Square #5: Can a realistic solution be offered to your problem definition?








YES

NO
Square #9: Good Work! You're ready to go and start working on the solution!
YES
Square #8: Does the problem statement offer new information to potential solvers?
NO
Square #7: Is the problem statement is phrased in a professional Jargon?
YES
Square #6: Does the problem include a clear criteria for success?
What is the theory of change behind the problem? Restate your problem in a manner a realistic solution could be linked to its definition, then go back to square #4




NO


YES


NO

 
 
Try to extract important pieces of information that would be new and help potential solvers draw a solution to the problem.You can use relevant literature (papers, articles, research pieces, M&E reports etc) to do that effectively.Accordingly restate the problem definition and go back to square #7
Try to omit all Jargon words and read the problem definition out loud to someone who is not part of your professional community. Now restate the problem definition in a manner he will be able to relate to it and fully understand it, and go back to square #6
Try to think who is harmed by the issue you are facing. Write down a short and clear criteria for success for the problem, then restate your problem so it would include a criteria for success, then go back to square #4