More Work or Better Work?
Stewart Rogers, PMC, CSM
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?
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
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
Where do you find them?
Consultants / Subject Matter Experts
#1 Answer: Talk to people!
Why write them?
◦ Focus on the market problems and not the
◦ Clearer more focused requirements
◦ Develop solutions to problems
◦ Better marketing material (e.g. feature benefits)
◦ More targeted messaging
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
How to get started?
It takes too long to complete the online quote for my clients.
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.
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
The RES-1 system shall maintain the contact
information throughout the Quoting process.
Why are they useful?
• Better communication
• Focused prioritization
• Clearer end goals
• Better documentation
• Better marketing efforts
• Increased Customer satisfaction
• Better solutions
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
How to find time to write them?
Problem Statement Writing Days
By writing them
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?