Problem Definition Worksheet
In order to continuously improve, you must be able to find problems in order to solve them.Once you have found a problem, the first step you must take is to make sure you have properly defined the problem.
One way to look at problems (i.e., gaps) is to think in terms of standards. A gap can exist between current performance and an established standard or a new standard that you are attempting to achieve. A problem also can be unwanted variation in performance even when average performance appears acceptable. When even a single out-of-specification event is a problem, the gap can be defined as between the amount between any number of events and no events.
Whether you are trying to maintain a current standard, raise to a new standard, or reduce the number of out-of-specification events, this worksheet can help you breakdown the problem into a clearly defined gap as well as see how the problem aligns to the needs of the business or your True North purpose.
This worksheet was developed by the authors of Perfecting Patient Journeys, a guide to value-stream improvement for healthcare organizations. Readers will learn how to identify and select a problem in the performance of a value stream, define a project scope, and create a shared understanding of what's occurring in the value stream. Readers will also learn to develop a shared vision of an improved future, and hopefully work together to make that vision a reality.
Judy Worth, Tom Shuker, Beau Keyte, et al.