Problem Statement Samples & Templates

What Is a Problem Statement?

People have an innate drive to formulate solutions for difficult and problematic encounters. It is fairly easy to point out and complain about an existing problem. Likewise, the immediate reaction in dealing with challenging situations is to voice out the desire to change it and to come up with new methods. These elements create a before and after scenario, but the question is how. How to fix the problematic situation and how to implement the methods to achieve the desired solution. The details concerning these scenarios make up a problem statement.

Problem statements document the current condition of the problem and the gap in reaching the desired outcome. It includes detailed descriptions of the problem scenario or method, its implications, and its effects on the different stakeholders. Aside from relaying a clear picture, it is also a critical tool in gaining traction from sponsors who will possibly fund the implementation of the research. Essentially, it is a background of what the problem is and an introduction to what the solution will be.

Research: The Key to Advancing Knowledge

A problem statement is a key element and a crucial tool in conducting research. Researches are systematic investigations of concepts and methods. Effective business plans result from persistent and thorough research. Research-based conclusions back federal and state laws that make lives more comfortable. As a matter of fact, the main goal of conducting research is to further knowledge—proving, debunking, and revolutionizing ideas and concepts. The research measures both quantitative and qualitative motions. And as a result, each problem statement varies according to the nature of the study. Apart from adding depth to existing knowledge, research brings in several other advantages.

Facilitates Learning: Research, per se, is a critical tool for learning. Research papers, investigatory projects, and thesis projects are standard requirements in several fundamental subjects and programs. It measures a student’s understanding of the concepts and ability to apply it in real-world situations. More often than not, these field researches raise the students’ awareness of societal issues, both in the local and global scene. Aside from producing a research material, the process itself facilitates learning. It encourages critical thinking and using logic and rational thought in looking at various circumstances. As a result of this kind of thinking, it also promotes an inkling to problem-solving.Explains Current Societal Issues: Aside from its crucial role in the academe, research fosters learning by explaining current issues to the masses. One problem that makes people turn away from delving into research is its language. It is notably more technical than others. Some research utilizes layman’s terms in formulating the research write-ups and make it available for public use. For example, social science researches use a global issue of climate change in social perspectives, like sociological or anthropological. As a result of this compartmentalization, the topic becomes more to the people who are keen on these fields. Ultimately, it establishes either a causal or correlational relationship with a particular stakeholder.Determine False Claims: The accessibility to the internet paved the way for easier information dissemination. The internet became the new and preferred avenue of the media to inform, advertise, and persuade the people. But, on the flip side, it also became the melting pot of false news and untrustworthy information. Because of the no-nonsense process of publishing articles and marketing products online, internet users are prone to opening and reading false articles. Fortunately, the best way to combat the spread of fake news is through research—specifically, the use of logic and rational thought. Research methods are available to verify the information about the news. It can also be as simple as cross-referencing. Aside from the written material, the basic skills of conducting research aid in furthering knowledge.Instrumental to Business Success: Apart from its role in the academe and public information dissemination, research is crucial in business operations. Comprehensive investigations are vital in coming up with project proposals. Proposals, together with product pitches, need facts and accurate forecasts to convince the executives or possible sponsors. The only possible way to gather these factual details is through month-long or year-long researches. Formulating business plans require the same method. Business plans contain the goals of the company and the methods for attaining these for the long haul. As business plans are the road map of the corporation, it is only just to rely on facts and research-based conclusions. Research-based business documents assure its effectiveness to the particular company.

How Does Research Build Industries?

Man’s sensitivity to change makes it easy to pinpoint disparities and differences. As farfetched as it may seem, this skill is integral in driving the success of different industries. Once one starts to question why one company performs better than theirs, they go through extensive and rigorous research to come up with methods to place them in an advantageous position. It may be a question of “Is the process enough?” or “What other methods are possible?”. Either way, it seeks to contribute or change current practices and methods to achieve their goals.

One tried and tested method that results to process improvement in different corporations is the lean six sigma. It is a set of tools and techniques that are statistically-based. Lean six sigma is a methodology that aims to eliminate defects and strive for perfection in any field. The goal of the six sigma method is similar to operational excellence. Jack Welch, the chairman of General Electronics, is the father of this method. He used this method during his chairmanship in the company, which resulted in the skyrocket of its profitability and value. Moreover, Welch provided a testament stating the effects of the method. He declares that the quality method leads to better customer satisfaction, lower costs, and better leaders.

Methods similar to six sigma are catalysts to the significant development of businesses and corporations. Similar to the significant increase of General Electronic’s value under Welch’s leadership, any company imploring the same method can follow suit. But, these complex methods, tools, and techniques are nothing when it does not respond to a particular problem. Frameworks and methods that build corporate giants go back to the accuracy of the problem statements. Everything still boils down to the accurate depiction of the problem and the emphasis on its negative implications when not granted urgent action.

How to Compose an In-depth Problem Statement

How important is a problem statement in conducting research? Some may conclude that the actual procedures weigh more than a mere statement of the problem. But, these statements act as the base for the entire framework and structure of the research. All the following details and notions stem from a factual and correctly formatted problem statement. Here are some of the essential steps to consider in formulating problem statements.

Step 1: Maintain an Objective Outlook

A practical problem statement accurately describes the problem situation. In order to do so, the writer or researcher must maintain an objective perspective in detailing the case, even if it is a problem that directly affects them. Say, for example, the problem situation concerns the low level of awareness regarding human rights issues, and the desired result is to raise awareness and to call for urgent action. Even if the researcher is gravely passionate about the subject, the aim to maintain a professional tone in presenting the current situation in the problem statement. But, it is also essential to invoke enough emotion to draw in attention.

Step 2: Present the Facts of the Case

The presentation of the facts of the case should still carry a professional tone and objective view. The primary details that are necessary for the problem statement are the location or span of the problem situation, the current practices, and the impact on its stakeholder analysis. As the primary goal of the problem statement is to detail the situation, remember to be specific as you possibly can. To instill a clear and relatable picture of the instance, you can choose to present the facts narratively. In this way, the descriptions can be more vivid and realistic. Make sure to achieve all these while maintaining behind an objective lens.

 Step 3: Introduce the Primary Intention

As the researcher presents the current state of the problem situation with great emphasis, make sure to place the same significance on the desired output. Always keep in mind that achieving the desired output is the primary intention of starting the entire study. It is justifiable to introduce it as early as possible because it sets the direction of the study. In a more straightforward sense, it is like a vision of the entire study. The intention of achieving the future state of the current situation creates an initial framework for the study. This crude framework is then used as a reference; to check if the progress of the study is in line with its primary intention.

Step 4: Explicitly State the Gap

Problem statements recognize and emphasize the gap between the current and future state of a problem situation. In order to relay the difference accurately to the concerned stakeholders, state the disparity straightforwardly. If a particular standard procedure lacks proper implementation, mention it directly. Do away with euphemisms to cushion the blow. Keep in mind that the goal of the research is to bridge the gap. So, there is no need to hide the gravity of the negative implications of the shortcomings and lapses. Being direct with its statement sets the urgency of the matter.

Step 5: Attract and Maintain Attention

A problem statement is relatively short, but it is not short of valuable information. Aside from providing factual details, the account also needs to attract the attention of the reader enough to make them read the entire study. It is also crucial to indicate and emphasize the stakeholders’ role in the study. Aside from the role, stating the effects of the changes will capture the attention of the stakeholders-who are the prime readers of the research. It is best to declare the implications of the current state, methods to bridge the gap and the end state to the stakeholder.

The development of the standard research process started with simple queries and persistence to provide solutions. From then on, questions lead to revolutionary discoveries and technologies which make up modern society. People are quick to point out the setbacks in different fields, particularly in businesses. It was then deduced that merely pointing out the shortcoming creates a difference. Change happens when the problem situation is localized and detailed correctly in the problem statement. Problem statements set the initial framework to answer wonders.