What is 5 Why – A Root Cause Analysis Technique

The basics of the 5 Why Method are explained in this video.
Other videos on https://www.leanvlog.com

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▶ Here the Transcript of the video.

The 5 why’s method is a technique that aims to find the root cause of a problem.

Asking why a phenomenon many times helps in problem-solving.

Here is an example.

I have a low product quality.


The materials needed for production often arrive late and surrogates are used.


We have inadequate stock levels.


We do not have a standard procedure for reviewing stock levels.


A standard procedure must be established to review the stock levels of materials needed for production.

In this example, the countermeasure to the root cause should be implemented and effectiveness checked.

In other words, the Deming cycle must be followed.


A first take away is that you must not settle for the first answer because the first. We need to push the thought deeper.

▶ Some rules for effective use of the 5 why’s technique.

1) That people are the problem is not an acceptable answer.

Deming said: “Many of the problems arise from the processes and not from the people. It is too simple to accuse people. What causes people’s bad behavior?”

2) The 5 why’s method it is not an instrument of accusation.

3) For each answer to a why, prioritize, 1 or 2 answers pass to the next stage.

4) Stop when the causes go out of your control.

▶ Warning!

The 5 why’s method can become counterproductive if it is used to propose solutions rather than to ask questions.

In the description, you will find links to other useful resources to deepen the 5 why method.



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