The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Perform A Why Why Analysis

why why analysis for problem solving

Why Why Analysis is where your search for one of the simplest and effective problem solving methods ends. Widely used in the world of lean development, this method also known as the 5 Why Analysis, cuts through false alarms and leads you to the root cause of a problem.

The Why Why Analysis involves asking why five times in a row to get to the root cause of an issue. This simple yet effective analytical process can be used in both personal and professional settings.

In a previous blog post, we discussed how to use the 5 whys analysis as an effective way to drill down to the root cause of a problem.

The reason it is so powerful is that it allows you to ask why until you reach a basic, fundamental reason for the problem. Once you have uncovered the root cause, you can then work on fixing it. In this blog post, we will discuss 5 reasons why you should perform a why why analysis.

What is a Why Why Analysis?

5 why analysis example - why did a person drove through the red light?
5 Why Analysis Example

The Why Why Analysis is a problem-solving strategy that helps you break down complex problems into smaller, more manageable pieces. It was developed by Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1970s as a way to improve its manufacturing process.


The basis of Toyota’s scientific approach is to ask why five times whenever we find a problem … By repeating why five times, the nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear.” – Taiichi Ohno


The Why Why Analysis works by asking “why” five times in a row. Each time, you drill down further into the problem until you reach the root cause. This technique can be used to solve all sorts of problems, from manufacturing defects to customer service issues.

Also known as the “5 Why Analysis”, it uncovers the root causes of problems or issues.

How to perform a why why analysis?

The 5 Why analysis involves asking the question “why” repeatedly until you reach a root cause. This technique can be used in business, engineering, and product development contexts.

The why why analysis is a great way to troubleshoot problems because it helps you to identify the root cause of the issue. Once you know the root cause, you can take steps to address it. The technique is also helpful for understanding how products and services work.

The steps of a Why Why analysis are:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Ask why the problem occurred
  3. Ask why each answer to the previous question occurred
  4. Repeat until you reach a root cause
  5. Create a plan to solve the problem

What is a problem? Define the problem

A problem is an unwanted or unpleasant situation that needs to be fixed. Problems can arise from many different things, such as a malfunctioning product, a customer service issue, or a natural disaster.

When something goes wrong, it’s important to identify and solve the problem as quickly as possible. This can be difficult, especially if the problem is complex or there are multiple issues to deal with. However, by taking the time to understand the problem and come up with a plan to fix it, you can minimize the damage and keep your customers happy.

The first step is to determine what the problem is. This may seem like a simple task, but it can be surprisingly difficult to accurately identify the root cause of a problem. Be specific and concise in describing the issue at hand.

The Why Questions (Examples)

The “5 Why” analysis begins by asking “Why?” five times in succession until you reach the root cause of the problem. The following example will help illustrate how the “5 Why” analysis works.

Suppose you are a manager at a manufacturing company. One of your employees has been injured on the job. You ask him what happened and he tells you that he was using a power saw to cut some wood when the saw kicked back and hit his arm.

Then you ask him why the saw kicked back and he says that the blade was dull and he was not using a saw blade guard. Next question is why he was not using a saw blade guard and he says that it was not on the saw when he got it from the supply room.

Ask him next why the guard was not on the saw and he says that the last person who used the saw did not put it back on. Finally you ask him why the last person did not put it back on and he says that she did not think it was necessary because she did not damage the blade.

At this point, you have reached the root cause of the problem: The employee was injured because the last person who used the saw did not put the blade guard back on, causing the current employee to use a dull blade without protection.

The “5 Why” analysis is a simple but effective tool that can help you identify root causes of problems so that you can take steps to prevent them from happening again. This analysis can be used in any situation where you need to identify the cause of a problem so that you can take corrective action.

The why why analysis is based on the premise that most problems have multiple causes and that each individual cause can have its own set of causes.

By repeatedly asking the question “why,” you can drill down to the root cause of a problem. This process is also sometimes referred to as a “cause and effect” analysis.

To use the why why analysis, simply ask the question “why” five times in succession. For each answer, ask the question again. Here’s an example:

Problem: The car won’t start.

red car on flatbed trailer
Photo by Mike B on Pexels.com
  • 1st why: Why won’t the car start? The battery is dead.
  • 2nd why: Why is the battery dead? The alternator isn’t working.
  • 3rd why: Why isn’t the alternator working? The alternator belt is broken.
  • 4th why: Why is the alternator belt broken? The alternator belt was not replaced when the last tune-up was performed.
  • 5th why: Why wasn’t the alternator belt replaced during the last tune-up? The mechanic did not notice that the alternator belt was worn during the last tune-up.

The solution here is reviewing and adding the missing steps in the SOP to be followed by the mechanic.

The Top 5 Reasons Why You Should Perform A Why Why Analysis

When it comes to problem solving, many people instinctively turn to brainstorming. However, this technique is often ineffective, as it can be difficult to come up with good solutions when you’re under pressure. A Why Why analysis is a more effective problem-solving strategy that can help you find creative solutions to complex problems.

Here are the five reasons why you should perform a Why Why Analysis:

The 5 Why analysis helps you to:

  1. Understand the problem in depth
  2. Identify potential causes of the problem
  3. Find solutions that are tailored specifically to the problem
  4. Prevent future problems from occurring
  5. Improve your problem-solving skills

Conclusion

The why why analysis is a problem-solving tool to get to the root cause of a problem. The goal of the 5 why process is to ask questions until you reach the root cause of the problem. The 5 why analysis can be used in business, manufacturing, engineering, and other problem-solving fields.

It has universal application. Use in any situation where there is a problem that needs to be solved.

Quick recap of the steps for why why analysis:

  1. Define the problem
  2. Ask “why?” five times to get to the root cause of the problem.
  3. Record each answer and its corresponding reason.
  4. Take action to fix the root cause identified.
  5. Follow up to ensure that the problem has been resolved.

For more articles on problem solving and business management, subscribe to our blog today. If you have any questions or feedback, this is where you can find us for a conversation.

By Nitesh Verma

Founder - Business Management Blog. I am an independent business strategy consultant, helping companies take data driven business decisions. My mission is to find and implement simple solutions for complex business problems.

1 comment

Share your views

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

%d bloggers like this: