This deceptively simple technique can help you uncover a whole host of information and help you get at the actual problem the business is needing to be addressed. The process is simple to use. You simply ask why to every statement the business stakeholder is making regarding the issue at hand. Although the name is ‘5 whys’ it may take you less than 5 or many more than 5 to get at the heart of the problem.
When to Use a 5 Whys Analysis
This technique can be used for troubleshooting, quality improvement, and problem solving, but it is most effective when used to resolve simple or moderately difficult problems. If your problem is complex, this may not be the best technique to use because it does take you down a single or limited number of paths when you may need to consider multiple areas to solve the problem.
5 Whys does, however, partner well with other analysis techniques and is often used at the beginning of the analysis journey to help focus on where additional deep dives are needed.