Tim Hurson developed what he calls the Productive Thinking Model (a very helpful series of steps to follow for solving complex problems).
I found myself returning to the book again and again for the first step in his model that is geared toward defining the problem. He lists a series of questions that help to frame the problem. Here's my template:
What's the itch?
Describe exactly what needs fixing and the irritants driving you to action.
What's the impact?
Explore how the issue effects others, why it is a matter of concern, why it is important.
What's the information?
Examine the info you have and the info you need.
Who are the stakeholders and how are each affected or contributing?
What's the vision?
Describe the Target Future
See also: Think Better