Knowledge-Advantage, Inc.

Understanding a Problem

The problem this aid solves is as old as... well, problems. To avoid ending up with generic requirements and solutions that yield limited value, take the time to understand the symptoms, consequences, root causes, and other nuances of your current situation. This tool helps you to capture what’s most relevant about the problems ailing you, your clients and your business.


We will frame and address root cause problems, as opposed to solving for generic issues that result in limited worth to the business.


  • A thorough understanding of the problem being confronted
  • Decision to pursue or stop pursuit of a solution to solve a problem
  • Agreement to the importance of addressing a business problem

A clear sense of threats to scope, time and resources is required before solving any business problem.


      Position (Relevance)

      People (Decision Makers)

      Policies (Budget)

      Procedures (Sign-offs)

      Politics (Agendas) 

Pinpoint Core Business Problems

Why is this Important? 

Lack of taking a disciplined approach to framing a problem creates generic solutions with limited worth.

What is this?

A visual aid to accurately decompose and frame the key attributes of a business problem.

Why would you use this?


  • Review the essential attributes to understand a business problem
  • Illustrate how you have previously framed complex business problems
  • Have a complete understanding of the problem to provide a better solution

What questions, excuses, or objections will you hear?

  • We have already done the analysis to understand the problem
  • Just tell me what you do and I will determine how it helps us
  • How do you plan to use this once it is completed?

When should you use this?

  • Uncovering internal or client technical problems/positions/politics
  • Identifying technical requirements
  • Demonstrating solutions/presenting recommendations

Who do you use this with?

  • An honest dialog with yourself
  • Initiative project owners
  • Business/Technical analysis 



The Understanding a Problem is best used in the Problem Space during the Analysis Phase (2.1) to “Pinpoint Core Business Problems”. It’s also useful in the Solution Space to illustrate the complexity of business problems.