How to use the 5 Whys technique,
with James Manktelow & Amy Carlson.
The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps you to get to the root of a problem quickly. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: "Why?" and "What caused this problem?"
Very often, the answer to the first "why" will prompt another "why" and the answer to the second "why" will prompt another and so on; hence the name the 5 Whys strategy.
Benefits of the 5 Whys include:
When you're looking to solve a problem, start at the end result and work backward (toward the root cause), continually asking: "Why?" You'll need to repeat this over and over until the root cause of the problem becomes apparent.
In this example, the problem is that your client, Hinson Corp., is unhappy. Using the 5 Whys, you go through the following steps to get to the cause of the problem:
The 5 Whys strategy is an easy and often-effective tool for uncovering the root of a problem. Because it's simple, you can adapt it quickly and apply it to almost any problem.
With the Mind Tools Club, you get much, much more than you do here for free.
And we'll give you the 4 workbooks above when you join!
Learn on the move with the free Mind Tools iPhone, iPad and Android Apps. Short bursts of business training ideal for busy people.