Problem Framing for Product and Service Teams

Instructor: Ben Crothers
Learn how to build shared understanding from research results, and formulate more compelling problem statements for better solutions.
Upcoming classes:
Wednesday 24 November 2021, 7-9pm AEDT
Wednesday 19 January 2022, 9-11am AEDT
Wednesday 19 January 2022, 7-9pm AEDT
100% satisfaction. Love it or your money back.
 (average rating)
Train your team. Book a private session.

"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

"I am always a big fan of Ben Crothers. He is an experienced leader and instructor, that is why his courses are very practical and insightful. I can immediately apply my learnings at my work. As usual, this workshop also didn't miss the mark and fulfilled my expectations."

Designer, software company

Transform and reframe research and strategy for better innovation

  • Are you struggling to define and scope product and service projects rapidly and effectively?
  • Is your team jumping ahead to an assumed solution – or only coming up with lacklustre solutions – without knowing how to explore what should really drive the solution first?
  • 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:

  • Plan and run better problem framing discussions using visual templates, for kick-off meetings, sprint planning sessions, offsites, design sprints, brainstorming sessions, or any other type of meeting – whether in-person, online, or hybrid.
  • 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.

15 years of experience

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

Project Insurance Pack

You need to set up your team to succeed. These 3 meeting guides will help you do just that. Included in the pack:

Project Kick-off Meeting Guide

Get a shared understanding before the project begins.

Project Pre-Mortem Meeting Guide

Identify what might go wrong and how you will avoid it.

Problem Framing Meeting Guide

Clarify the 'why' behind what your project is really for.

Starting a project?

We'll send you our best-practice guides to start on the best foot. Once a week you'll also receive tips and details on new classes to help you lead better meetings.

You can unsubscribe at any time. Your privacy is our priority.

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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 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 facilitators on the Bright Pilots Slack channel

Dive deep where you want to, ask the questions you want answered


Participate from anywhere in the world through your web browser.


Designed with impact in mind, with engaging activities and discussions.


Hosted live by an expert trainer, to tailor discussion and answer your questions.

Impact-driven learning

We’re not flipping burgers here. Leading yourself and others to make a real difference in the world takes more than watching a bunch of online videos. This class is different:

Class outline

We want you to be confident in what you will gain from this class. Here's a detailed look at what you can expect.

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; why trying to define problems is so hard, and what we can do about it.

Individual activity: What's your problem?

3. 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.


This class costs $250 (AUD) and includes:

  • 2 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 facilitators on the Slack channel

Not sure about timezones?

All class times are shown at Australian Eastern Standard Time (AEST), GMT+10. As a guide: 5pm Sydney (AEST) = 8am London (BST) = 9am Paris (CET) = 12am San Francisco (PDT) = 3am New York (EDT). Check your local time at

100% Satisfaction

We are so confident that you will love this class that if you don’t we will give you your money back. Simply contact us within 5 days of the class.

Train Your Team

Learn with your team at a time that works best for you. We offer discounts for non-profits and for bookings of over 10 people. Find out more.

Email Your Boss

Do you need to approval from your manager to sign up for professional development? Save time with this template email.

Frequently asked questions

Do you have a question that isn't answered here? Please send an email or start chatting.

How much does it cost?

Bright Pilots classes cost AU$250. We offer discounts for non-profit organisations, and for bookings of over 10 people.

How long is the class?

Each class runs for 2 hours in real-time. The classes take place online and are limited to 10 people per class.

Are there any prerequisites or assumed knowledge?

There are no prerequisites or assumed knowledge needed to get the most out of these classes.

What happens after I sign-up?

You’ll receive a welcome email and a link to a short questionnaire to help us get to know what you most want to get out of the class. This helps us to  tailor the class to your circumstances and needs as much as we can.

What software do I need to install?

We use the video conferencing platform Zoom, which you can download here. We also use Slack, which you can download here.

Do I need to do any preparation before the course?

The only preparation you need to do is to complete a brief questionnaire sent with your welcome email, as well as thinking about any specific upcoming meetings that you need to plan and/or run. You’ll have the opportunity to apply what you learn during each class, using these meetings as examples.

How interactive is the class?

Better meetings are all about involving everyone in an engaging productive all the classes are fairly interactive. Each class has a range of practical and conversational activities, ranging from simple icebreakers to individual hands-on exercises, to discussions in groups of 3 or 4 using the breakout group functionality in Zoom. There will also be time for Q&A at the end of the class.

What happens after the class?

You will receive a Certificate of Completion to promote your new credentials on LinkedIn. You will also receive links to download the templates shared during each class, and an invitation to the Bright Pilots Better Meetings Slack community.

You can use this community as a way of keeping in touch with others who attended the class with you, as well as ask questions, give and get advice, and share resources.

What if I register but can no longer attend?

We understand that sometimes things come up and plans need to change. If you can no longer make it to a class, please email us at least 48 hours prior to the class and we will gladly reschedule your registration for a future date. Cancellations that do not take place prior to the 48 hours will not be eligible for credit.

Ben Crothers

Ben has been involved in design since before Netscape ruled the www, and in digital strategy for about the last 10 years.

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.

Previous to Bright Pilots, Ben was a Principal Designer at Atlassian, a design consultant at Second Road (a strategic innovation consultancy), and directed several projects to help companies and government departments be more creative in solving complex problems for their customers and communities.

Above all, Ben wants everyone to be just as good at the whiteboard as they are at the keyboard, to be better at thinking, communicating, and solving problems visually. He's packed years of experience into practical tips and exercises in his book Presto Sketching: Simple Drawing for Brilliant Product Thinking and Design.

He enjoys extreme sports like abstract painting and brewing beer.

Ben Crothers

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Problem Framing for Product and Service Teams

Learn how to build shared understanding from research results, and formulate more compelling problem statements for better solutions.

Learn more