In business and engineering, a problem is a difference between actual conditions and those that are required or desired. Often, the causes of a problem are not known, in which case root cause analysis is employed to find the causes and identify corrective actions.
In chess, a problem is a puzzle set by somebody using chess pieces on a chess board, for others to get instruction or intellectual satisfaction from determining the solution.
In academic discourse a problem is a challenge to an assumption, an apparent conflict that requires synthesis and reconciliation. It is a normal part of systematic thinking, the address of which adds to or detracts from the veracity of a conclusion or idea.