Policy analysis cannot start in earnest without an understanding of the problem at hand. Although this task may seem simple and straightforward, it can often occupy a considerable amount of time and research. Indeed, one cannot narrow in on policy options or evaluative standards without having set the parameters of the central problem. Or worse, efforts could go towards solving the wrong problem entirely (Dunn 1988). In very tangible terms, this could mean lost time and resources and missed opportunities. While the goal is to establish a concise and accessible problem statement, it is complicated by the historical and political context of an issue, the particular audience for the overall policy analysis, and the experiences and biases of the analyst. In this chapter we discuss the goals and challenges of defining the problem and present a strategy for developing an effective problem statement.