When we need to use the "analytical" method, we must be faced with a problem that needs to be thought about and solved. This "problem" is the beginning and the end of the analysis.

But we often encounter two situations like this:

There is a lot of information that doesn't point to any problems. For example, after doing a user survey, the research report presents a pie chart of a bunch of channels and behaviors, but there is no insight or conclusion to guide the specific work;

Without figuring out what the essential problem is, the starting point is not right. For example, there are engineers who want to solve the problem of "whether to transfer to product manager", but this is not the real starting point for our analysis, because the essential question behind it is, "What kind of career development do I want".

If it is not clear what the starting point of the analysis is, or if the starting point is wrong, then the subsequent analysis is meaningless. Therefore, the first and most critical step in the "analysis" is to define the "problem" to be solved.

Here, we will use the "7-step questioning method" to determine the starting point of the analysis, that is, to determine what the problem is and what kind of information needs to be collected to solve the problem.

Step 1: 5W (What, Why, Who, How, Where) describes the problem

Step 2: Ask for motivation

Step 3: Dig into essential requirements

Step 4: The factor that the decision maker cares most about

Step 5: Factors that decision makers can tolerate

Step 6: What are the alternatives

Step 7: Split the defined problem into N smaller problems

Here's an example of how to do this 7-step follow-up.

Now that you're a startup founder, you find that it takes a long time for the company to recruit candidates, much slower than the competition, and makes your team expand less quickly than the competition. What to do?

When faced with such a problem, it is easy for us to jump into the solution, to investigate the recruitment process of competitors, and to compete with ** Latest Mailing Database** competitors for common candidates. However, the company's recruitment rate is slower than its competitors, is the real problem here?

## Step 1:5W describes the problem

Now, in the first six months, we will recruit candidates who match the culture and abilities to help the company solve the problems in business exploration.

## Step 2: Ask for motivation

The key to the previous question is "candidates who match culture and ability", why? Because only by having a sense of cultural identity can we understand what the company is exploring, can we properly solve the problem, and can we have the courage to overcome difficulties in the process of exploration.

On the other hand, where candidates are needed now, it is not to increase the workload to strengthen implementation, but to solve difficult problems, so it is necessary to have sufficient ability, not simply enthusiasm and effort.

## Step 3: Dig into essential requirements

Therefore, the company's most fundamental problem is how to find and attract "candidates who match culture and ability" as soon as possible, so that the right people are in the right position, rather than competing with competitors for speed.

At this point, the basic starting point for analysis has been established, that is, "how to find and attract candidates with the right culture and ability as soon as possible to help the company solve the problems in business exploration". The next 4 steps to follow up are to help us figure out what information we should gather to solve this problem.