Framing The Problem to describe the Solution

Perspective (graphical)
A clear path is better is full of certainty  (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
While Step 1 is about describing the problem, there will be time when we are not sure what the problem is. We are unable to describe the problem because the cause is not physically nearby or it is further up the chain. In short, we are only seeing the effects of it. This in itself is a small victory. It takes skill to separate the effects of a problem and the actual cause. Most people confuse the two and misdirect their efforts in solving the problem.
So in these cases, when describing the the problem, instead of describing the attributes of the problem, approach it from the end of the solution. We can frame the description of the problem in the form of attributes of the solution. So instead of just describing the problem and stopping because we think it is beyond what we can do, continue on and describe the solution and what do you expect from it. More importantly, describe what is it that you want to achieve from the solution.

This sets the tone of the process. By defining what the solution should do, we can address issues that affect us directly. This empowers us to reach a solution faster rather than wait on when the actual problem can be solved. Although we are not solving the problem directly, we are solving it for us, even though it may be just a temporary measure.
Avoid imposing restrictions at this stage. What ever limitations or parameters or even legitimate concerns we can think of, we should note them down. We are not going to brush them aside. We will likely find use for them later. Instead, let's spend time at Stage1 to be open to every possibility and be certain of what the problem is to us. Make sure you revisit the those concerns or restrictions in Step3 and Step4 as you come up with possible solutions. Those limitation that we noted can be used to exclude possible solutions that you can't use. We should focus on the fact that we are solving it for us first. What we leaned can be shared with others who are actually able to solve or affect the problem directly.
By framing the problem as attributes of the best solution, we have set the goals that we want to achieve. By focusing on how the problem affects us when are unable to solve the main problem itself, it is creating an environment where a clear path can be made.
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