Participants:
2-10
11-25
25+
Prep Time:
Time to run:
1-3 hours

Problem statement template

Define a clearly articulated problem statement

Participants:
2-10
11-25
25+
Prep Time:
Time to run:
1-3 hours

Problem statement template

Define a clearly articulated problem statement

Courtesy of our friends at

About the MURAL Problem Statement Template

The MURAL Problem Statement Template, created by the Design Sprint Academy, helps you to better define the problem you are solving for your customers based on a deeper understanding of their needs.

The template is divided into two parts: The first section is built to collect your ideas across four categories:

  • Who are your customers?
  • What are the problems they face?
  • Where/when are they facing those problems?
  • Why is it important to solve those problems?

Once you’ve conducted this part of the exercise, it’s time to craft your problem statement. Use the feedback you’ve gathered and fill in each prompt in the second section of the template as clearly and concisely as possible to create your problem statement.

What is a problem statement?

A problem statement is a brief description of a problem that needs to be solved. It should be specific and focused, and it should state the problem that needs to be solved without going into too much detail. A problem statement should be no more than a few sentences long.

Creating a problem statement is part of Design Thinking methodology, which emphasizes understanding and empathy for your customers so that you can create experiences that address their needs.

The first step in creating a problem statement should be to conduct user research. This gives you direct feedback from your customers that keeps guesswork out of your process and informs your framing of the problems facing your users at every stage.

Why should you create a problem statement?

Creating a problem statement is an important step in the process of solving real-world problems. By carefully considering the problems your customers face, you gain a greater understanding of context. When you create a problem statement, it allows you to gather and organize your feedback into clear categories, building the foundations for actionable next steps.

How to use the problem statement template

To use the template, gather all stakeholders together and fill in the information for each section. The sections of the problem statement template are:

  • Who: First, you need to include information about the people or organizations affected by the problem, and you can describe the problem itself.
  • What: Next, state the problem that needs to be solved. Be as specific as possible.
  • Where/when: This is where you provide context for the problem. How is it affecting the user in that context? What proof do we have that this is happening?
  • Why: Now, you have to answer, ‘so, what?’ It’s time to explain what you hope to achieve by solving the problem.

Once you have filled out all of the sections of the template, you will have a clear and concise problem statement that you can use to guide your work.

How to create a Problem statement template

Build better problem statements with MURAL

Features that make brainstorming, defining, and refining your problem statements faster, easier, and more collaborative
Sticky notes & text

Sticky notes & text

Add ideas, action items, and more as a sticky note or text box — then change the colors and cluster to identify patterns and new solutions.

Real-time collaboration

Real-time collaboration

Add more productivity and engagement to meetings and calls with features to guide collaboration.

Find & filter

Find & filter

Search and filter by color, last edited by, and more to unlock patterns and enhance visual collaboration.

Tags on sticky notes

Tags on sticky notes

Customizable labels make it easy to find, organize, and categorize your work in a mural.

Flexible permissions

Flexible permissions

Control access to collaboration features with view-only, edit, and facilitator settings.

Mapping and diagramming

Mapping and diagramming

Build quick and easy visualizations of flows, maps, processes, hierarchies, journeys, and more.

Problem statement template frequently asked questions

What are the five steps in creating a problem statement?

Why is it important to create a problem statement?

Design Sprint Academy

Template by Design Sprint Academy

,

Design Sprint Academy helps organizations build sustainable products, discover opportunities for innovation & solve their toughest business challenges.