Taking a problem focus begins with identifying the issues (or opportunities), then continuously checking for and prioritising new issues or opportunities during the course of research. This requires beginning with a wide view of the system (on farm or in industry) in which a problem is situated. Researchers and stakeholders then work toward solving the problem, rather than focussing on their own ideas. One way of describing this is that the ‘problem’ is at the centre, not the end user.
Researchers and stakeholders in research projects are drawn together by the complementary nature of the skills they each bring to the team, allowing the project to meet both individual needs as well as the overall project aim. To align needs leadership and action is needed to ensure that individual, as well as overall project aims are met when bringing together multiple stakeholders.