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5 Why Analysis

Identify the root cause(s) of a problem statement.


What is a 5 Why Analysis?
5 Why Analysis is used to quickly identify the root cause of a larger problem by differentiating between contributing factors of a problem and its root cause(s). It is said that only by asking “Why?” five times, successively, can a team delve into a problem deep enough to understand the ultimate root cause.

How do I apply a 5 Why Analysis?
  1. Assemble cross-functional team of individuals from different departments within the organization for varying perspectives.
  2. Discuss problem with team to make a clear problem statement and define scope of the issue the team will investigate.
  3. Select a team leader/facilitator to ask the “Why” questions and to keep the team focused on the defined scope.
  4. The facilitator should ask “Why” as many times as needed (minimum 5) until the team is able to identify the root cause of the initial problem statement.
  5. Take action by holding discussions to find and apply the best solutions that will protect the team’s process from recurring problems.
  6. Document and deliver the results from the team discussion across the organization.