It has been said that there are no new problems, only different manifestations of old problems. In problem definition, it is often useful to quantify the problem in similar situations. The criteria to match similar situations will vary with the type of problem. Identifying effective matches and evaluating the presence of the problem provides useful information to generate potential causes and possible problem solutions. If the similarity analysis identifies a comparable situation where the problem does not exist, the analysis can focus on the differences in where the problem is occurring and where it is not occurring.
Once the 3 types of analysis have been completed, it is sometimes possible to divide the problem into separate problems. It is easier to address these smaller problems because fewer root causes are involved. In the ideal case, a single root cause would be responsible for each problem. If the problem is separated, different teams may be required to address each problem.
All three elements of the problem definition are not used for every problem. However, collectively the different analyses provide a comprehensible description. You are developing a �specification� of the problem.