Developing a strategy for dealing with a situation begins with a description of the situation and the preferred state for today, not in some distant future, and the perceived implications of not doing anything. There is a also a video
for this insight which is a component of the Effective Problem Solving Course
The situation is that state which we perceive warrants attention. It is the definition of this state that represents the starting point for effective problem solving. It is appropriate to describe the current situation as succinctly as possible.
We make assumptions all the time. We tend to see what we believe though in this situation the more objective our description of the situation the better. If we describe the situation based on unfounded assumptions the likelihood of achieving any meaningful result is highly unlikely.
The interactions responsible for the situation are something that will be determined in time. Attempting to define the interactions at this point is likely to confuse the undertaking.
This is definitely not the time to propose things that are believed to be the solution to the situation. Doing so is likely to impede the development of a valid perspective of the situation.
In addition to describing the situation more often than not it will prove extremely useful to identify and document the historical behavior trends for particular aspects of the situation. These trends are likely to help identify relevance in a future step.
It is important to describe the implications expected if the situation is not dealt with as these provide a portion of the rationale for actually dealing with the situation.
It is said that one should begin with the end in mind. The ideal alternative is what you would create if anything was possible with existing technology. This is a preferred alternative rather than simply making the situation go away. Maybe you can't get there though it will provide a directional compass for the undertaking.
What gets described is one or more individuals perspective. Different individuals may have very different perspectives -- and there is likely to be great value in realizing, comparing and understanding those different perspectives.
If we are to effectively intervene in a situation it is essential that we have a solid description of the situation and the trends that have led up to it which is not tainted by invalid assumptions.