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Issue Analysis and Hypothesis Generation

Defining the key issues via issue analysis is the first step. Issue analysis entails defining the situation, complication, and overriding question of a business case, and from that identifying issues to be addressed, formulating hypotheses for those issues and deriving a project plan.

Step 1

From the situation & complication extrapolate the overriding question, finding the answer to which is the goal of the engagement.

Step 2

From the overriding question, derive the issues & sub-issues. The answer to these questions should collectively provide an answer to the overriding question.

Steps 3-4

Generate for each issue and sub-issue a hypothesis which will serve as a tentative conclusion that we try to prove or disprove. The hypotheses will then reveal the required evidence, analyses, and timing for the engagement. This will allow a project plan to be developed.


  1. Assess the situation (define the complication, determine the overriding question)
  2. Breakdown to issues and sub-issues
  3. From each issues generate a hypothesis
  4. Formulate project plan (determine analyses required to test hypotheses, delegate responsibilities, and establish timing)