Challenge Framing

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Before you tackle a challenge, you’ll need to make sure it’s framed appropriately…not too broad, not too narrow.

Too broad, and your challenge is virtually impossible to solve. Too narrow, and you’re not leaving the team enough latitude to develop meaningful solutions.

Too Broad
An overly broad challenge would require many solutions to address the different aspects of the problem.

Too Narrow
A too-narrow challenge doesn’t allow enough of an impact to create measurable success.

An appropriate challenge offers an opportunity to solve the problem with a meaningful, results-oriented solution.

Challenge Framing Tips

We frame challenges starting with, “How might we?”

  • “How” implies there is a solution to the problem.
  • “Might” says we’re going to develop many solutions and one may work.
  • “We” implies it will be a collaborative effort.

Include a qualifier in your statement

Your “How might we” statement should be followed by a qualifier that explains what you’re trying to accomplish.

Examples of a qualifier are “in order to increase a new customer’s understanding of how to use the product” or “to increase homework completion by 10 percent.” This helps indicate what success will look like.

Your challenge statement should look something like this:

“How might we improve X to ____?” or “How might we achieve Y to ____?”

Challenge Framing

Now, it’s your turn. Use this Challenge Framing worksheet to develop your challenge statement.

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