Quality Problem Solving

Quality Problem Solving-63
The 5 Whys method also allows you to follow multiple lanes of inquiry. " (Reason 1), which can then be addressed with a counter-measure.Figure 2: 5 Whys Example (Multiple Lanes) You'll know that you've revealed the root cause of the problem when asking "why" produces no more useful responses, and you can go no further.Now that you've identified at least one root cause, you need to discuss and agree on the counter-measures that will prevent the problem from recurring.

The 5 Whys method also allows you to follow multiple lanes of inquiry. " (Reason 1), which can then be addressed with a counter-measure.Figure 2: 5 Whys Example (Multiple Lanes) You'll know that you've revealed the root cause of the problem when asking "why" produces no more useful responses, and you can go no further.Now that you've identified at least one root cause, you need to discuss and agree on the counter-measures that will prevent the problem from recurring.

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This simple technique, however, can often direct you quickly to the root cause of a problem.

So, whenever a system or process isn't working properly, give it a try before you embark on a more in-depth approach – and certainly before you attempt to develop a solution.

Have you ever had a problem that refused to go away?

No matter what you did, sooner or later it would return, perhaps in another form.

Search for answers that are grounded in fact: they must be accounts of things that have actually happened, not guesses at what might have happened.

This prevents 5 Whys from becoming just a process of deductive reasoning, which can generate a large number of possible causes and, sometimes, create more confusion as you chase down hypothetical problems.

An appropriate counter-measure or process change should then become evident.

(As we said earlier, if you're not sure that you've uncovered the real root cause, consider using a more in-depth problem-solving technique like Cause and Effect Analysis." In some cases, you may need to ask "Why?

In this article and in the video, below, we look at the 5 Whys technique (sometimes known as 5Y).

This is a simple but powerful tool for cutting quickly through the outward symptoms of a problem to reveal its underlying causes, so that you can deal with it once and for all.

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