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The 5 Whys

Ever find yourself facing the same problems and don’t know why? Or faced with a problem you can’t figure out a solution to? Those who are familiar with kaizen (continuous improvement) will have heard of this problem solving technique before. With more companies adopting this kaizen methodology here is a simple tool you can start using at work today.

The process is known as the 5 whys and is used to help dig deep into problems and find true root cause. It works by taking a problem like “I am always late for my 8 am Monday meetings” and asking yourself why 5 times:

1. Why am I late? Because I hit traffic on my way to work.
2. Why do I hit traffic? Because I leave at the peak of rush hour.
3. Why do I leave at peak time? Because I hit snooze 5 times.
4. Why do I hit snooze 5 times? Because I go to bed too late.
5. Why do I go to bed so late? Because I stayed up watching the new Game of Thrones.

In this example you may have originally thought the traffic was why you were late but the true root cause was Jon Snow and Daenerys Targaryen keeping you up.

Try using the 5 Whys technique for your own problems and comment down below what root cause you came up with!

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