5 Whys | Getting to Root Causes, Fast!

Joost d’Hooghe – I’ve had great experience with the 5 WHYS methodology to identify root causes. It basically means that you continue the ” Why” question 5 times to identify the real root cause. If you can not go deeper than 4 x than probably you have already identified the root cause.Example Wikipedia:

The vehicle will not start. (the problem)

  1. Why? – The battery is dead. (First why)
  2. Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (Second why)
  3. Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (Third why)
  4. Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (Fourth why)
  5. Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (Fifth why, a root cause)

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