The “5 Why?” strategy helps organizations master the art of solving problems ergonomically. It guides them away from blaming people for problems, which are predictable and in large part due to the design of systems and processes.
The technique isn’t new. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System and the subject of countless books and studies, the “5 Why?” strategy helps organizations determine and address the root cause of their problem. It works like this: an answer to the first “why” prompts a second “why,” and so on to the fifth.
Inc.com, a magazine for entrepreneurs, revisited the method recently. It noted one reason there are ineffective problem solvers is that it is easy to confuse motion with results. A second is that the “don’t just stand there, do something!” mentality encourages people to start making changes in an attempt to solve a problem when they’ve skipped the most important step