Find Focus

Ask the right questions.
Add to Collection
Mark Complete

Why? Why? Why? Why? Why?

0 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 50 votes, average: 0.00 out of 5
Loading...
Rate This
Teams are consistently faced with any number of opportunities for improvement. To understand where to focus, it is important to understand the initial conditions of the situation or target of improvement. 5 Whys is one strategy to help teams gain clarity about an issue to support action for improvement. Here's how...

DETERMINE ROOT CAUSE

The 5 Whys process is simple. To determine root cause or to get a deeper understanding of a problem, you simply ask why at least five times. As you probe deeper into root cause, you engage higher order thinking skills to find meaning. This process will often challenge your understanding of the problem or situation. This is important for teams to be able to fully address a problem or analyze a potential solution to a problem.

5 WHYS EXAMPLE

A 5 Whys conversation with an elementary student might look like this:

WHY #1: Why is it important to be in school?

“Because I want a good job.”

WHY #2: Why do you want a good job?

“Because I want to support myself and help my Mom.”

WHY #3: Why is it important to help your Mom?

“Because she helps me.”

WHY #4: Why does she help you?

“Because she loves me.”

WHY #5: Why does she love you?

“Because it makes me happy and it makes her happy. So in other words, we should stay in school so that we can get a good job, support ourselves and help our Mom.”

FOUR TIPS FOR ASKING 5 WHYS

Before asking the first Why, clearly state the problem or situation being examined.

Ask each Why in direct response to the previous answer provided.

When leading a team through 5 Whys, it is helpful to use chart paper or a large board to record each response. This allows participants to clearly see the line of thinking and identify action steps for improvement following the exercise.

Identify and record action steps for improvement, once the root cause is determined.

Empower People to Solve Problems

Good processes arise when the workforce is empowered to identify and solve problems to achieve excellence. Process improvement reinforces and accelerates a culture of performance excellence. Encourage people to be problem solvers by bringing a solution with every problem.

Log in with your credentials

or    

Forgot your details?

Create Account

User Profile Fields