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What Are Problem Statements

Problem Statements
More Work or Better Work?

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What Are Problem Statements

  1. 1. Problem Statements: Statements: More Work or Better Work? Stewart Rogers, PMC, CSM srogers74@yahoo.com http://www.strategicproductmanager.com/
  2. 2. Why are you here? Learn about market problems ◦ What are they? ◦ Where do you find them? ◦ Why write them? ◦ How to write them? ◦ Why are they useful? ◦ How to prioritize them? ◦ How do you find the time?
  3. 3. What does this solve?
  4. 4. What are they? prob lem state ment (prŏb'l m stāt'm nt), n. • Defines the problem in the context of the market in order to determine an appropriate solution • Clearly states the problem with enough contextual detail to establish why it is important • The problem should be measurable and observable
  5. 5. What are they? (cont’d) • The Problem Statement should include a concise description of the entities and personas and how they interact with one another • It should exclude questions or solutions • It is a gap between the real and the desired or a contradiction between principle and practice
  6. 6. Where do you find them? Customers Prospects Sales Analysts Consultants / Subject Matter Experts Support #1 Answer: Talk to people!
  7. 7. Why write them? For yourself ◦ Focus on the market problems and not the solution For development ◦ Clearer more focused requirements ◦ Develop solutions to problems For marketing ◦ Better marketing material (e.g. feature benefits) ◦ More targeted messaging
  8. 8. How to write them? The following steps can help you develop a realistic problem statement: • Be specific • Keep it restrictive to the scenario and the persona • Focus on single problems • Use observed, measurable facts - not opinions
  9. 9. How to get started? Example: Input: It takes too long to complete the online quote for my clients. Problem Statement: Mark is frustrated by the effort to complete a quote. To generate a quote, Mark has to enter the client’s contact information into the RES-1 system twice.
  10. 10. Why is it not a requirement? re quire ment (rĭ-kwīr'm nt), n. • A requirement is a statement of the least stringent conditions that must hold to solve or avoid a market problem Example: The RES-1 system shall maintain the contact information throughout the Quoting process.
  11. 11. Why are they useful? • Better communication • Focused prioritization • Clearer end goals • Better documentation • Better marketing efforts • Increased Customer satisfaction • Better solutions
  12. 12. How to prioritize them? • Executive Leadership • ROI Calculators ++ • Impact, Scope, Strategic Fit, Willingness to Pay? • Group Processes Question to ask: • Does it align with your corporate and product strategies?
  13. 13. How to find time to write them? Problem Statement Writing Days Automation By writing them
  14. 14. Review Police often lose track of suspects on foot patrol because of reduced visibility and a lack of foot speed Anyone catch the subtle error here?
  15. 15. Resources Blogs: ◦ Cauvin → http://cauvin.blogspot.com ◦ Product Beautiful → http://www.productbeautiful.com ◦ The Product Management View → http://featureplan.com/community ◦ Product Marketing Blog → http://www.productmarketing.com/blogs/productmarketing Webinars: ◦ Writing Problem Statements → http://techwriting-marta.blogspot.com/2006/09/statement-schmatement.html

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