From “My product management toolkit (4) — Problem statements”.

What’s a problem statement?

A problem statement is a formula used to focus on the key problems to be solved. Importantly, problem statements don’t include a solution.

What’s the formula?

  1. Stakeholder (describe person using empathetic language)
  2. NEEDS A WAY TO Need (this is a verb)
  3. BECAUSE Insight (describe what you’ve learned about the stakeholder and their needs).

Here’s an example:

Richard, who loves to eat biscuits wants to find a way to eat at 5 biscuits a day without gaining weight as he’s currently struggling to keep his weight under control.

What’s a HiPPo?

HiPPo stands for the “highest paid person’s opinion”, who based on their experience or status knows exactly what needs to happen and why. — MAA1 Before you start thinking about solutions, please spend a good amount of time understanding the problem that you’re looking to solve. Please, please don’t be intimidated by ‘HiPPo stakeholders’ who already know the solution and tell you to ‘just to make things happen.’ — MAA1