Before solving a problem, it is important to understand it. Moreover, problem analysis ensures that you are not solving the wrong problem.
An important aspect of problem analysis is asking questions, such as who, what, why, when, where and how. ‘Why’ is an especially important question for understanding the problem. It can be asked multiple times. Once the problem is clear, you can collect additional information about the problem. Is it a new problem? Are there existing solutions?
- Domain experts and the problem owner.
- Knowledge about what questions to ask.
- A willingness to get to the core of the problem (i.e. the problem behind the problem) by asking lots of questions and making assumptions explicit.
A lot of projects start with an initial idea about a problem and solution. Problem analysis ensures that you do not waste time solving the wrong problem.