Problem framing for product and service teams

In-person or online • Ben Crothers Ben Crothers

Learn how to unlock breakthrough solutions by seeing and communicating product and service problems in more effective ways.


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Transform and reframe research and strategy for better innovation

  • Are you struggling to define and scope projects rapidly and effectively?
  • Does your team struggle to come up with effective problem statements?
  • Is your team jumping ahead to an assumed solution, or only coming up with lacklustre solutions?
  • Does your team argue about trying to reconcile business strategy and customer needs?
  • Do you have a hard time getting buy-in from stakeholders about your preferred course of action?

This class will equip you to:

  • Extract clearer insights from your research and your group’s collective knowledge and experience
  • Plan and run better problem framing discussions in kick-off meetings, design sprints, brainstorming sessions, or any other type of meeting
  • Identify and ward off biases and other tricky situations with 6 different methods, plus a range of smart questions.
  • Create more actionable, compelling problem statements that your team and stakeholders - and your customers! - can really get behind, by being able to diagnose, explore, and communicate problems more effectively.

Generate those a-Ha! moments your whole team’s been wanting

After this class, you’ll be much more confident transforming and reframing research and strategy into compelling directions for solutions, for any kind of product, service, process or campaign.

You’ll also be more confident in helping others unlock new solutions where they didn't see any before.

This class is great for:

  • Product Managers who want to bring out more of their team's collective genius, for better product innovation
  • Researchers and Designers who want to improve their analysis and synthesis skills, and unearth more insight from research results
  • Design Leaders who want to bring more creative thinking and stronger design skills to their teams
  • Project Managers and Program Managers who have to help teams prioritise and organise tricky projects
  • Scrum masters, agile coaches and agile practitioners who want to improve their teams’ ways of working

Serious value for serious leaders

You’re investing in your success as a meeting leader. We take that investment seriously, by packing serious value into this class.

This class gives you access to:

  • 2-3 hours of real-time interactive instruction with Ben Crothers, a skilled veteran of over 15 years of facilitation, training and strategy
  • Your questions answered throughout the class time
  • PDF templates to use with your team after the class
  • An ongoing community of innovators, facilitators, and changemakers on the Bright Pilots Slack channel

Class outline

Here’s what you can expect from the live online class.

1. Introductions and expectations

Introducing your instructor; expectations from attendees and expectations of involvement; class content overview.

2. What does ‘problem framing’ actually mean?

Introduction to the main concepts of framing; traps to avoid in framing problems (and problem statements), and what we can do about it.

Individual activity: What’s your problem?

3. Identifying problems (problem diagnosis)

Applying a ‘reporter mindset’ to an existing (or inherited) problem with the 4Ws method, to make sure we have all the essential elements to work with.

Individual activity: Problem press conference!

4. Perspective analysis

Exploring problems from multiple points of view, using the 5 Whos method.

Individual activity: 5 Whos on your problem

5. Root cause analysis

How to dig for insight about why a problem is really happening, using the 5 Whys method.

Individual activity: 5 Whys on your problem

6. Impact analysis

How to investigate the urgency and severity of how a problem affects everyone involved.

Individual activity: 5 So Whats on your problem

7. Problem stories and problem statements

How to summarise and distil problem exploration into succinct problem stories and problem statements, that capture insight, logic, and action.

Individual activity: Write your own problem story and problem statement

8. Wrapping up

Recapping the main points in the class, final Q&A, as well as some next steps and resources.

I liked the logical flow of steps through / around the attic diagram - it helped me to clarify and gain fresh insight on a problem that’s existed in my organisation for years.

Program Manager

I really enjoyed listening to you talk about your techniques and I’m already planning on using them today to help with my project!


Thank you again for this morning’s class. We had a chat as a team after the class after you left, and I said you are the man and I could listen to you all day haha I really did find your delivery and content very engaging and helpful and took screenshots of all of your diagrams, which I will 100% be using!

UX Design Student

Best workshop ever! Wish it was even a bit longer =D 2 hours flew by! Always a fun, engaging and insightful workshop lead by Ben Crothers!

ES, Program Manager

It was a fantastic training with many exercises and a great knowledge transfer. I love it.

Senior Designer

Very refreshing! Really loved it! Interaction was amazing!


Great practical application of the methodology. Insightful, warm and friendly facilitator. Excellent to receive the pdf worksheets and pack so speedily after the session too.

No name given

A big thank you for your brilliant problem framing activities! I used them as part of a kickoff workshop with a new client and it worked a treat! It was amazing to see them look at their problem in new ways (didn’t know how they would take it)!

Sayoa Jodar, Design Researcher

Your instructor: Ben Crothers

Ben is currently Principal Facilitator at Bright Pilots, and spends a lot of his time teaching design techniques, running strategic workshops, and helping teams be more creative and to focus on the right things.

About us

Ben Crothers

We’ve boosted capacity in loads of teams...

Here are some organisations that Bright Pilots has been privileged to run training sessions and masterclasses for:

Client logos of EY, Target and EbayClient logos of Commonwealth Bank and ZipClient logos of Atlassian, ABC and LIDAClient logos of iCare and OrofolClient logos of Nine Network and Aurora EnergyClient logos of Canva, City University of New York and CSIROClient logos of The Benevolent Society and Telstra

Book a call

Got questions? Here are some answers

We conduct these classes either in-person or online, according to what your requirements are. We are based in Sydney (Australia) so in-person is great, but there are many reasons why we conduct classes online via Zoom too. for example, clients sometimes want to include people from several offices, so we make it online.
Each training class typically runs for 3 hours. If it takes place online, we ensure we schedule 2 quick breaks throughout the 3 hours, to keep everybody fresh.
We try to limit each class to 10 people, to ensure everyone gets enough interaction and opportunity to discuss and ask questions. If you have more than 10 people to train, we suggest booking several separate sessions.

No, training attendees don’t have to all work together. Each class is geared to cover several specific learning outcomes common to anyone and everyone attending. Often classes include time for each attendee to work on their own example individually.

However, we can always tailor team training classes to include time for attendees to work together on common challenges.

Yes, we can and do bundle several training classes together. We can also tailor sets of classes to cover your specific learning outcomes or staff development goals.

For online classes, we use the videoconferencing platform Zoom, which you can use via your web browser, or download here. Some clients prefer us to use MS Teams; this is also fune, provided you can invite us to your Team space.

We sometimes use other applications like Mentimeter, Mural or Miro, which you should be able to access and use via your web browser.

If you’re attending one of our drawing classes, you’ll need something to draw with, and something to draw on. We recommend a fine black marker (e.g. Artline200 Fineliner 0.4) or similar. For this sort of drawing, it’s best not to use Sharpies, as they are too thick, and they bleed through regular paper. For the paper, a blank sketchbook is great, but plain ol’ blank office paper is perfectly fine.

Drawing on a digital tablet is great too, and using other markers and pencils (e.g. tint markers like Tombow or Copic, and colour pencils) is also fab.

The only preparation you usually need to do is to complete a brief online pre-class questionnaire. We send out the link to all attendees a few days prior to the class. This questionnaire helps everyone to think more about what they’d like to get most out of the class, plus it helps us to know what to focus on.

We also encourage all attendees to think ahead about (and capture somewhere) how they think they’d like to apply what they learn from the class. For example, there might be specific types of meetings, or a specific project they are working on, where they would like to improve.

Be sure to read the class outline above, to give you a sense of the structure and content of this class. If you have any questions after reading this, we’re more than happy to help, and you can drop us a line.

We’re all about involving everyone in an engaging productive way in all our classes, so all classes are pretty interactive.

Our classes have a range of practical and conversational activities, ranging from simple icebreakers to individual hands-on exercises, to discussions in groups of 2, 3 or 4. There will also be time for Q&A throughout the class, and at the end as well.

Some classes’ activities also include using an online canvas (like Mural or Miro), which all class participants use together.

We take your decision to invest in your staff seriously, so we prefer to agree on – and invoice for – a minimum number of staff who are committed to attending the training class, and we charge per attendee.

We understand that sometimes things come up and plans need to change. If this is the case, you will receive a seat credit for anyone who accepted the invitation to the training, but didn’t attend. You can use this seat credit towards another class, and it’s valid for up to 12 months from the original class date.

You can cancel any registered attendees by name within 2 days of the scheduled class, and receive a full refund. If the invoice is already paid, we will arrange the refund to be paid back within 7 business days of submitting your cancellation request. To cancel, simply contact us here, or email

Yes, we do provide discounts to attendee numbers over 15. We also provide a discount for registered non-profit organisations at 25% off the regular per-seat attendee rate.

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