77 Problem Analysis Overview

A Problem Analysis investigates a situation/problem in order to allow the researcher to understand more fully the problem, in order to recommend practical solutions for solving it.

In addition, a Problem Analysis determines the degree of the problem and if the problem is a genuinely related to the specific site under investigated.  For example, a workplace can request that a study be Magnifying Glass Over Textconducted to estimate the cost and time involved in installing a new lighting system because a number of employees have filed insurance claims because of eye problems.  Before investigating the cost of lighting, a problem analysis would determine the degree that the lighting is affecting employees or if the lighting is not actually the problem. It may be that, after reviewing records, the eye problems are isolated to workers in one particular shop. In this case, the problem analysis study would recommend solutions related to this particular area.

However, it could also be determined, after further investigation focused on interviewing the workers in the shops, that the lighting was not the cause of the problem. Instead, the interviews determined that the workers were staying up all night studying for classes that they were taking. Thus, the problem analysis would report that the lighting was not the cause of the problem, saving the company time and money. (This may be the case when you investigate your problem. However, if it is, you will need to choose another problem in order to complete the research portion of this class.)

Problem Analysis Procedure (with Format Used to write A Problem Analysis Report)


Identify the problem. State and describe the Problem.


Begin by identifying the name and position of the person requesting the Problem Analysis. The person requesting the Problem Analysis needs be an administrator or a person who holds a position in the company that can approve your collecting of internal data, such as conducting interviews with employees, reviewing company records, or conducting an onsite investigation. Give some background of the company/agency that is experiencing the problem, such as the company’s type of business, how long they have been in business, how many employees the company employs, etc. End the section with a rationale of why the person suspects there is a specific problem.


The research section opens with a brief introduction to the internal investigation of detailed areas of research. The introduction must reference all areas of detailed research, in the exact order that they are discussed in the detailed section. One area of the investigation must be employee interviews. Other areas may include items such as reviewing company records, investigating supply rooms, or conducting site investigations.   


Report the results of your investigation. Discuss each area of research, in the same order that you investigated specific areas. You must have parallel order, so the reader has easy access to reference the information. 


From your findings, discuss the outcomes, what you determine are facts. Emphasize that there is a problem, identify the problem and how your investigation supports your decision, or emphasize that there is not a problem, identify the suspected problem and how your investigation supports you decision. Note that you need to have a problem for this assignment. Therefore, if you determine that there is not a problem, you will need to do another Problem Analysis.


Identify 3 recommendations that you believe will solve the problem. Your Recommendations section will begin with a preface statement. Next you will identify the recommendations. Identify the number of each recommendation, followed by the recommendation. Be sure to begin each recommendation with an action verb (using the understood you).

See the following example of a Problem Analysis document:  Problem Analysis Report for Teldon Facilities




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