THE 5 WHYS

The 5 Whys is a problem solving technique to discover the root causes of a problem. It involves looking at any problem and asking "Why?" & "What caused this problem?", generally five times.

DESCRIPTION OF THE 5 WHYS CANVAS

The 5 whys analysis is a tool to discover the root causes of a problem. By asking the question "Why" several times you can separate the symptoms from the causes of a problem. By repeatedly asking the question five times, you can review the layers of these symptoms one at a time. Very often the reason for a problem will lead you to another question.

The main benefits of using the 5 Whys is not only to identify the root cause of a problem, but also to determine the relationship between different root causes.

METHODOLOGY

The concept of 5-why is simple:

IDENTIFY THE PROBLEM

Write it down and try to describe it shortly. If you’re working in a group, this will help everyone to focus on the same problem.

ASK THE QUESTION

Why did this happen? Come up with one or several causes that answer that question.

IS IT THE ROOT CAUSE?

If the cause you just provided doesn’t identify the root cause of the problem, ask “why did this happen?” again.

REPETITION PROCESS

Repeat step 2 and 3 five times or even more if necessary until you’ve identified the root cause(s).

SOLUTION

Find solutions and countermeasures to fix the root cause.

GO FURTHER WITH THE 5 WHYS


Sandile Shabangu

149 Startup Blog posts

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