5 Why Technique Of Problem Solving

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“Observe the production floor without preconceptions,” he would advise.

“Ask ‘why’ five times about every matter.” Toyota believes in ‘go see and clarify’ approach.

Research has shown it usually takes an average of five times to reach the actual root cause.

The 5 Whys technique is sometimes criticised as being too simplistic and can at times lead to incorrect conclusions on the root cause of a problem.

Second root cause: There is an issue with the project management as ideally, a code freeze should happen at least 4 days before the UAT but here the team was working on fixing bugs at the last day.

Following are the key steps in the overall process of conducting a thorough 5 Whys analysis: When you are faced with a problem, the first logical step is to gather relevant team members.

Thus, what appeared to be a problem was just a ‘symptom’ of an actual issue and had Jack treated only his nausea without going to the doctor, it would have resurfaced again.

(Another lesson here – don’t try to be a doctor when you are not 😉 ) Implementation of 5 Whys depends upon a questioning outlook towards problems and not taking them at their face value.

If the possible cause is found to be incorrect then the Why can be repeated until the true root cause is identified.

In some cases a cause or answer to one of the Why's can itself be caused by several issues or failures.


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