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Planview Customer Success Center

Framing a Challenge


Challenges and the questions asked in them should be framed to stimulate productive idea generation. Innovation challenges at any organizational level should be relatively open-ended and target an explicit objective, such as increasing product sales, increasing company revenue, or reducing costs for a specific business unit or product line.

How it Works

A challenge should:

  • Clearly describe the problem you are trying to solve
    • With a little background as to why it’s a problem
  • Appeal to all stakeholders within your target audience
    • Keeping it simple really is the best way
  • Have a sense of urgency
    • Why is it urgent right now?
  • Display clear leadership engagement
    • When leadership has a stake in the challenge, the audience knows it's important to the company.

Challenge Question Bank

A common way to state challenges is to start with the phrase, “How might we...?”
This tends to prompt open-ended idea generation. For instance, “How might we…”

  • Better understand, involve, and serve our customers?
  • Improve our awareness of other parts of the company or industry?
  • Gain better insights into use or adoption of our product or service?
  • Expand our distribution network profitably?
  • Improve our customer responsiveness to requests?
  • Become more eco-friendly or be a better corporate citizen?
  • Make products that are relevant to emerging or niche markets?
  • Close gaps in our market or domain skills?
  • Improve the employee morale, efficiency, productivity, or engagement?
  • Attract and retain the best talent?
  • Leapfrog the competition?
  • Increase revenue from new or from existing clients?
  • Reduce our time-to-market?
  • Demonstrate market leadership?
  • Win and retain our largest or marquee accounts profitably?
  • Better understand, involve, and serve our customers?
  • Make our products more usable/safe/durable, etc.?
  • Reduce our administrative/sales/travel/product costs?
  • Improve our brand value or awareness?
  • Increase our revenue per client/store/geography?
  • Cross-sell and up-sell different product sets?
  • Increase our client loyalty?
  • Build a world-class organization that operates efficiently?