What is a 5 Why Analysis?
Identify the root cause(s) of a problem statement.
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?
- Assemble cross-functional team of individuals from different departments within the organization for varying perspectives.
- Discuss problem with team to make a clear problem statement and define scope of the issue the team will investigate.
- Select a team leader/facilitator to ask the “Why” questions and to keep the team focused on the defined scope.
- 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.
- Take action by holding discussions to find and apply the best solutions that will protect the team’s process from recurring problems.
- Document and deliver the results from the team discussion across the organization.