Problem Statement – A critical Guide on How To Formulate One

A problem statement is a succinct and short explanation of an issue that a business/organization/society is facing. It includes a proposed solution to the problem. Before you formulate a problem statement, note down the problems and the possible solutions, and ready to support it with facts!

A problem statement is written to:

  • Provide a framework to be used when reporting the results- it shows what is necessary to do and how the results will represent this information.
  • Show the reader the usefulness of the project’s topic- it keeps the reader oriented to the importance of the study.
  • Place the research topic in a context that shows parameters of what will be investigated.
  • Anchors hypothesis, research questions, and assumptions in a concise statement about the usefulness of the research.

The following steps are followed when formulating a practical problem statement.

Specify the objectives

A clear and specific statement plays a significant role in research development. It defines the objectives and helps the decision makers to evaluate the questions of the project. You should have at least two or three manageable objectives and goals that will keep the plan relevant and focused.

Review the context or environment of the problem statement

As a student or marketing researcher, work with your team to define and test the environmental variables. This will assist you in determining if the project findings will be worth the incurred cost. For you to do this, identify the variables will most likely affect the project then start formulating different ways of controlling the variables.

Define the type of the problem

When you have a clear understanding of the nature of problem statement, you will be better placed to develop possible solutions. Research problems can be either simple or complex depending on the variables relationship. In some cases, the relationship is directly related to the question or the issue while in others the relationship is not essential.

To assist you in understanding the different dimensions, you can consider salespeople, consumers, professionals or managers to provide the much-needed information and insight.

Determine the variable relationships

Most marketing plans entirely focus on making behaviors that happen over time such as the introduction of new products or adoption of package designs.  Such programs define commitments that can follow behavioral methods or patterns in the future.

The process involves:

  • Determining how each variable will be used and controlled for the company purposes
  • Finding the variables relative to the problem statement
  • Finding out the functional relationships in the variables. It also examines the critical variables to the  problem solution.

During the stage of problem formulation, you should consider generating as many variable relationships and courses of action as possible.

Alternative courses of action consequences

Any course of action that has been used by more than one project has its implications. Communicating and anticipating the possible outcomes of the actions form the primary responsibility of the research process.

This is the general process you should use to formulate a research question. A research question shows that you have an issue or problem you want to study about. A good question results in a better a valid research project

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