Worksheet: Define the Problem

This worksheet, created by TeachEngineering.org, will help you outline your innovation project.

A. Description of Problem, Need, or Value

  • What are the problems and/or needs that justify the project?
  • Describe the target population — who specifically experiences this problem or need?

B. Overview of the Design Team 

  • What is the mission of the design team?
  • What are the team member’s qualifications to accomplish this project?

C. Overview of Proposed Project

  • What is the basic purpose of the project?
  • Who will benefit from it? Describe the geographic area and population to be served.
  • How does this project help fulfill the team’s mission?
  • How is this project unique? For example, is it similar to other projects but designed for a different target population? Does it employ a new approach?

D. Project Requirements and Constraints

  • What are the project requirements?
  • What constraints are there on your project?

E. Project Activities and Timeline

  • What exactly must be done in order to achieve the desired outcomes?
  • When, and in what order, must these activities be done to achieve the desired outcomes?

F. Outcomes

  • What immediate and long-range results are expected?
  • Will these results change people’s lives, the educational community and/or the world?

G. Evaluation

  • By what criteria will the success or failure of this project be measured?
  • What techniques or tools will be used to evaluate?
  • Who will do the evaluation? When and how often will they do it?
  • How will evaluation results be used? Who will see evaluations?
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