disruptive-innovation

How To Write A Great Problem Statement For Your Innovation Challenge


Natalie Wong, Content Marketer 💡
10 Jun 2021 • 3 min read


Constructing "How Might We" statement generates creative and focused ideas while keeping people aligned on the right problems to solve. The better you write them, the more focused ideas will be generated. Although it seems straightforward, there's more than it meets the eye.




Framing "How Might We" statement

Using a human-centered approach, a well-defined problem statement is framed around a target group of users, hence understanding their needs and their goals are essential. Sometimes, you may want to limit the scope of the problem or add in certain technological constraints for ideas generated.




A broad problem statement spurs creativity

A great problem statement doesn't focus narrowly on a specific solution. To open up for greater possibilities, any constraint should be kept to the minimum. Diversity and inclusion are keys to driving diverse and creative solutions. Beyond acknowledging differences from all groups of people, ideas generated from different perspectives, various domains of expertise and cross collaboration should be embraced.

For example, "How might we improve customer service and reduce waiting time?"

A great problem statement is needs-centric

When crafting a problem statement, it should be targetted at a specific user demographic that experiences a pain point and will benefit from the situation where an idea addresses their needs. Always start with assessing and prioritizing the needs of the target users, followed by developing ideas to value add them.

For example, "How might we improve customer service and reduce waiting time for people with disabilities at our customer service outlets?"


A great problem statement can be technology based

When the goal of the innovation challenge is focused on applying certain technologies, this happens when companies have an end goal in mind. They are looking for technology based solutions that could possibly integrate with their existing systems or processes. Doing so requires them to frame the problem statement with certain type of technologies. One example could be a niche area of automation, where chatsbots, machine learning, artificial intelligence and more come into place.

For example, "How might we improve customer service and reduce waiting time using automation technology?"

Using this simple technique to frame your innovation challenge can gear your people up on the right track to focus on the right problems. Thinkspace facilitates the different forms of innovation, whether you're looking for needs-centric innovation, technology based innovation or beyond, our innovation consultants will work with you to understand what your organization needs, and guide you on framing the problem statement for your innovation challenge.

Get started with Thinkspace today!