Problem Statement

It is best to identify the job-to-be-done that the sprint is trying to solve as early in the process as possible. Identifying the problem will help to determine if there is a problem, if that problem is solvable, and how to solve that problem. This step will be the first step to answering this question: What is this product, and is it useful?


  • Estimated time needed: up to 45 minutes
  • Team: Facilitator, Note-taker, Stakeholders

When should we do this exercise?

Close to the beginning the undertand phase, you will continue to use the problem statement as a resource throughout the sprint.

Why should we do this exercise?

To create a product that solves a problem we need to know what the problem is. This statement will be used throughout the sprint to refocus the team and to ensure we are working towards this goal and not getting distracted.


The facilitator leads discussion by writing statements on the shared art board or Miro board for everyone to see.

Write down all of the potential problems that the user has.

  • What are all the jobs-to-be-done?
  • What is the problem that this product is going to solve?
  • What is the motivation behind what the user wants?

As a group decide which problem is the most critical.

Continue to refine language around the Problem Statement.

Leave the complete statement in a large and clearly visible spot on the shared art board so that it is easy to reflect back on.

The Product owner should run through this statement each morning of the Sprint to ensure the team is focused on the task at hand.


If you are struggling to identify a concise problem statement try doing the 5 Why's exercise first. This exercise helps to identify the root problem which makes forming a problem statement a lot easier.


Problem statement stating, "Students don't receive enough guidance on how to develop the skills that will enable them to learn and flourish"