Stating your challenge in the form of a 'how might we.... ?' question helps people to connect with the problem frame in order to begin to solve for it.
A challenge statement is a description of your problem in a way that you are able to solve for it. It speaks to the urgency of the problem, is a call-to-action for others to be involved and inspires hope for change.
Crafting a Challenge Statement by Alex Ryan
A good challenge statement is:
- A ‘how-might-we’ question
- Provides context, importance, and urgency to work on solving the problem
- Points to complexity and barriers, but also opportunity and hope
- Obviously actionable
- Indicates how you will know when interventions and solutions work: early signs and signals, evidence, metrics: indicators and measures
- It’s iterative, a starting hypothesis – start anywhere and go from there
An ineffective challenge statement is presenting the problem as:
- Really a solution
- Just a symptom(s)
- Only a collection of problems lumped together
- Too far downstream towards solutions and not sufficiently upstream towards root causes
- Basically, about moving the problem onto someone else’s plate