In the process of planning important situations demanding change become problems: statements that may not only name or define the situation to be changed, but also provide additional detail concerning what aspect is to be changed, how it is to be changed, or into what it is to be changed. In the process of understanding a problem and trying to solve it, a planner starts with a problem statement, at the end of the process a commitment will be made as to what the solution may be, but the problem still may be further resolved. By doing this, the planner determines further action – what to do about the problem statement. In this sense, the statement of a planning problem is an instant picture of a becoming situation, so is its resolution. In this paper, it is intended to explore a definition of planning problems aiming to aid the planning process preventing it from determining prematurely what is to be accomplished at the risk of addressing the ‘wrong problem’, or deciding too early which kind of plan to pursue. Problems in planning are mental constructions based on facts, discrepancies, causality and consequentiality.
Keywords: becoming problems, wicked problems, problem setting, planning process