Think Problem first!

Nowadays we have hundreds of different vendor technologies in the Digital ecosystem. Therefore it is easy to get carried away and take a ‘Solution First’ approach. Take the examples:

  • “Google Analytics now enables Cross Device measurement. Let’s prioritise user tracking now.”
  • “We’ve bought a Data Management Platform. Let’s show it off by personalising based on someone’s previous site behaviour merged with a load of second and third party datasets”

In the first example, never mind that the organisation still gets 90% of traffic coming from people on Desktops and every page takes ten seconds to load. “We’ve got to show off the new toy right?!”

Do not ignore the problem

Do not forget about the actual problem. Take a step back and ensure you understand it and that what you are doing is addressing it.

Problem Statements

A problem statement outlines the basic facts of the problem, explains why the problem matters, and pinpoints a solution as quickly and directly as possible.

They are often used for planning purposes and help with stakeholder alignment. We sometimes have a tendency to think we’ve seen everything all before but every organisation is different in some ways.

A problem statement needs to be

  • Specific
  • Rich in content
  • Client value centric
  • Action focused

A couple of examples are below:

Problem Statement Examples

The problem statement summarises context gained from initial data gathering; either speaking internally to stakeholders or through consulting in a client facing engagement. You can then break this down to formulate key areas of focus for the project to help keep you on the right track.

Always keep the problem (and business objectives) front of mind and then you will avoid veering into delivering something that might not be what the business in question actually needs.

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