How to Write an Effective Project Problem Statement

What is a project Statement?

In a project charter, a problem statement is a clear and concise description of the main issue or challenge that the project aims to address. It outlines the specific problem or opportunity that has been identified and provides a rationale for why the project is necessary. The problem statement helps you define the purpose and scope of the project, ensuring that all stakeholders have a common understanding of the project’s objectives.

A step-by-step guide to a well-crafted problem statement

Project Problem Statement

1. Identify the Core Problem

The first step in writing an effective problem statement is to identify the core issue. For this, take a close look at the situation or challenge that your project aims to tackle. Ask yourself: What is the main problem we need to solve? For example, inefficient inventory management leads to frequent stockouts and customer dissatisfaction. Once you’ve identified the core problem, it’s time to articulate it clearly and succinctly.

2. Craft a Clear and Concise Problem Statement

For an effective problem description, make it clear, concise, and actionable. Use straightforward language to convey the problem you aim to solve. Here’s a structure you can follow:

  • Start with the description of the problem.
  • Identify the impact or consequences of the problem.
  • Specify the target audience or stakeholders affected.

Example: The current manual invoicing system is causing significant delays in payment processing, resulting in cash flow disruptions for our suppliers and frustrated clients.

With a well-crafted problem description, you can now move on to the next crucial step.

3. Define Measurable Objectives

Next, establish measurable objectives. However, these objectives should be specific, achievable, and aligned with the problem statement.

Example: Reduce invoice processing time by 50% within six months, resulting in improved cash flow and increased supplier satisfaction.

Now that you have your problem description and measurable objectives, it’s time to take action.

4. Use the Problem Statement as a Guide

The problem statement acts as a compass throughout your project. It will help you stay focused on the core problem and avoid unnecessary detours. Therefore, continually refer back to the problem description and ensure the project activities and decisions align with the defined objectives.


Crafting an effective problem description is the first step toward project success. By clearly defining the problem, setting measurable objectives, and using the problem statements as a guide, you position your project for efficient problem-solving and meaningful outcomes.

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