May 1, 2013

Pre-Project Problem Analysis Course

A Lightbulb Made of Screwed-up Paper: Visual Metaphor for creative discovery of ideasDuration: 1 day

Successful projects need a clear direction and a definitive destination.  This starts with a solid understanding of the business problem or opportunity that exists.  When the business problem is clearly understood, it is much easier to elicit and analyse business requirements and understand the business value that the project will deliver.  Requirement prioritisation also becomes much easier, as the critical success factors are clearly understood.

A key skill-set to achieving this level of clarity is problem analysis.

This course focusses on how to carry out problem analysis either before a project has been initiated or during the project’s early stages.    The session starts with a broad definition of problem analysis, and then focusses on understanding the high-level “Why” and the “What” of projects.   The session continues by focussing on how to define a high-level “project concept summary”

Click here to download a PDF version of this course description:

This session covers:

So what is problem analysis?

  • Why is it important?
  • How and where does it fit into the project lifecycle?
  • What activities and deliverables might it involve?

Understanding the “why”

During the course, you’ll learn and apply specific techniques for working with stakeholders to understand why a project is necessary, including techniques that allow you to analyse and define a specific business problem or opportunity and techniques for defining project success criteria:

  • Defining a problem or opportunity statement
  • Working with stakeholders to understand and define the business value a project will deliver, using an adapted version of the balanced scorecard
  • Defining Critical Success Factors and Key Performance Indicators for the project, so success can be measured and quantified

Understanding the “what”

You’ll learn and apply techniques for understanding what requirements must be met to solve the problem/leverage the opportunity, including:

  • Developing a project concept summary: Working with stakeholders to create a high-level vision for a project, agree the concept-level requirements and the broad scope.   Working with them to validate those requirements.
  • Identifying conceptual solution options: Identifying out potential solution options and establishing which broad options are most likely to be suitable

This is designed to be a practical session that will provide tools and techniques that you can use early in the project process.  These techniques are also useful and valuable throughout the project, in cases where the organisational, business or scope changes take place whilst the project is in flight.

Techniques covered during course

  • Defining a problem/opportunity statement
  • Defining critical Success Factors/Key Performance Indicators
  • Balanced Business Scorecard
  • Eliciting high-level requirements using the “roles and goals” technique
  • Business Use Case diagrams
  • Brainstorming
  • Concept-level gap analysis

Creative team holding a discussionCourse format

The course is designed to be interactive and engaging.  Exercises and group work are introduced to ensure that learning is cemented and the material is made as concrete as possible.

The course material is designed to be a useful aid-memoir when you are “in the field”.

Course attendees

This course is most suitable for practising business analysts who want to increase their knowledge of up-front problem analysis techniques, specifically relating to developing an up-front project concept summary.

This course is also suitable for project managers who work alongside BAs who wish to increase their knowledge of how a project concept summary can be developed.


This is a highly flexible course that can be tailored to a specific organisation’s needs.  For example, the course can be tweaked to include any specific project templates that your organisation uses.

 Click here to download a PDF version of this course description:

Contact UsNext Steps

Want to run the course for your team?

For more information and to book this course for your organisation please contact us:

Tel:  (023) 9298 4546

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