"A problem well stated is a problem half solved." – Charles F. Kettering
A quick and simple tool to use in defining a problem is the "5W2H" approach.
The W's (5W)
- Who? à Who is the customer?
- What? à What is the customer experiencing?
- When? à When did the problem arise?
- Where? à Where is the problem occurring?
- Why? à Potential causes or reasons (preliminary)
The H's (2H)
- How? à Mode or situation of occurrence
- How Many? à Quantify the problem
A problem solving team's success is heavily influenced by first clearly knowing what a problem is.