Five Whys

Type of strategy: Brainstorming and DiscussionClosings and Wrap UpOpeners & Get to Know YouProcessing


Process of asking why 5 times to detect the root cause or meaning of a situation

Directions: 

Process

  1. Identify a problem, situation or concept to be studied.
  2. Ask why? this particular condition exists.
  3. Each time the question Why? is answered ask Why? again.
  4. Continue to ask Why? until everyone involved is satisfied they have arrived at the root cause.
Five Whys  

WHAT? The Five Whys? are simply a process of asking Why? At least five times in a row to detect the root cause or meaning of a particular problem or situation.
WHERE? The Five Whys? are used any place there is a human factor present. Cut through layers of bureaucracy to find the true meaning.
WHEN? Asking Why? is necessary when people do not truly understand the situation or when a deeper understanding is necessary.
WHY? The Five Whys?

  • Cause people to use higher order thinking skills
  • Cut through layers of bureaucracy to find the true meaning
  • Cause people to challenge their current situation or problem.

Source: 

http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/c020610a.asp

Submitted by: Darren Hudgins