Question 1: What are the critical aspects involved in problem definition?   

A proper definition of the problem is necessary in order to find a solution to the real problem instead of what the problem is perceived to be. It is important to spend time on defining a problem so that it gives us a clear idea of how can we define and accomplish our goals.  In the following discussion I have provided an account of the critical aspects that are involved in defining the problem.

Find the source of the problem:

Find where the problem came from. It could be some personnel causing the problem or it could be technical issues that are causing the problems.

Present and desired states:

What is the present situation and where do we want to end up in order to define and achieve our goals is thoroughly examined.


Explore the problem and collect as much data as possible. Use scientific tools to collect data.


This process will open your mind to new ideas and would help in defining innovative solutions.


Analyze the whole process related to problem definition before agreeing on a problem definition.

Question 2: What are a problem statements for the Dead Fish Example and the Invention Date in-class exercise?  Discuss how you arrived at your statements.

Dead Fish Problem statement: “Identify ways to cure the infected fish and reduce the fatality rate in the local river.”

The fish were taught to be dead because of the waste water from the treatment plan and therefore designing a new plant was suggested. But after going through the critical aspects of problem definition I could say that we need to identify ways to cure the fish as the death of the fish was not caused by the treatment plant. The basis to my problem definition are the fact that the biologist has suggested that the source of the problem could be a fungus in the nearby lakes. Fish could have been moving up and down the river due to temperature rising. The examination of the fish conclude that they did die due to the fungus and the chemical discharge from the treatment is not responsible for the death of the fish in the lake.

Question 3: Did you encounter any issues during the group exercises?  In the interactive module, did you learn any techniques that will help you with working successfully in groups?

In the group exercises it was hard for me to properly communicate with the group members. I believe that it will get better with time and I hope that I can be a good team player in the future. The main reason for my communication problems is because it has been a new experience for me to work as part of a group.

In the interactive module, I have learned many things. One thing was of special interest to me. That is the introduction to the 7 habits of highly effective people book. I have learned from the book that to be successful, it is important to be proactive and take initiative, think of the results of what I am doing in present, prioritize my tasks, be honest and produce win-win situations, be a good listener, focus of group work rather than be a loner and be spiritually and physically strong.

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