A good problem statement lists symptoms, suggests the problem’s likely causes, and estimates the resources needed to solve the problem. It serves to communicate to the user, to management, and to the technical people the analyst understands of the nature of the problem and an initial sense of the problem’s resource implications. A well-written problem statement is an effective means of communicating the analyst’s understanding of the problem and its causes to the user, technical personnel, and management, thus helping to ensure that the right problem is solved. The problem statement often serves as a “charter,” or formal authorization for the information gathering and problem definition phase. The problem statement is often based on a limited number of preliminary interviews or observations. Comparing the scope to the symptoms allows the user to judge if solving the problem is worth the cost.