A description of the issue, challenge or situation that the business case seeks to address.

The problem statement should outline the challenging aspects of the current situation and address why it is important that change is enacted (this will also feature in the section on risks). It should be written with the perspectives and concerns of those key stakeholders, and/or from the point of view of the beneficiaries of whatever investment is being proposed.

To generate ideas for this section, it may be beneficial to brainstorm with a small group of engaged colleagues or stakeholders (4-6 people) with each person writing down what they perceive to be the problems that need addressing. This can then be used to identify common themes or forms of wording. 

The focus should be on existing and demonstrable problems. Ideally the problems should be quantifiable and it should be possible to describe a timeframe over which they have been occurring. It should be possible to identify:

  • Who is experiencing the problem? 

  • What is the nature of the problem?

  • Where is the problem occurring?

  • When (for how long) has it been problematic?

  • Why is it a problem (what impact is it having)?

At this point, it is not necessary to recommend a solution. This will be introduced and considered in the options section below.

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