Define the problem

Be user-centred

Before you commit to building a service, you need to understand what problem you will be solving. Adopt an agile approach to service delivery to help put users at the heart of your service design and delivery.  Build quickly, iterate and reduce risk.

Frame your problem

Start by defining the problem you’re working on.  

You might be presented with a pre-defined solution or asked to build a specific thing.  Instead, you should investigate that solution and reframe it as a problem you need to solve. This will help you better understand what your team has been set up to achieve.  

When framing your problem, your team should consider and research:  

  • the current service, if you are making improvements to an existing one 
  • the broad service landscape and current services available to users  
  • real needs and problems faced by your users (research with your users
  • the users’ end-to-end experience with your service including tools, transactions, support and offline touch points both government and non-government. 

Creating a problem statement

Use the evidence you gather to document your clearly defined problem.  

Look to avoid solutions in your problem statement. 


A problem statement is not: 

‘We need to build an app to show people where they can buy cheap fuel’. 

It’s probably something like:  

‘Drivers are spending more time and money than they’re saving looking for cheap fuel. Our solution needs to find a way to guide them to the cheapest fuel location for their journey.’ 


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