Process improvement project - Analyze -

5 WHYS
This tool is used in the Analyse stage of DMAIC
Also known as Ask Why´s

 

To get to a real answer, it often helps to ask the Why question five times, or as often as you need, to get to the real answer.  Often, a first answer is superficial and not the answer you need.

 

Example 1:

1.   Why do we have a Generic mailbox for receiving mail?  To receive requests for information from employees

2.   Why?  Because employees cannot find information on what they are looking for

3.   Why?  Information is not in the Knowledge Base

4.   Why?  There is not any process written, it has not been documented

5.   Why?  Either there is a new process, or the old process is out of date

 

Action/s:  Write a new process, review and update old processes.

 

 

Example 2:

1.   Why am I always late for work?  Because the bus I take goes the long way round

2.   Why?  Because I normally miss the direct bus

3.   Why?  Because I leave the house late

4.   Why?  Because it takes so long to get ready

5.   Why?  Because I cant decide what to wear

 

In this basic example, the real reason is not the bus service, but choosing what to wear

 

Action/s: The solution may be as simple as preparing your clothes these evening before when you have more time

 

OTHER QUESTIONS TO GET STARTED:

  • Why do we need so many signatures?

  • Why do we need so much information up front?

  • Why does this form need to be so  long?

  • Why are there so many steps in the process?

  • Why do so many people need to "touch" the thing to process it?

  • Why is the "thing" waiting so much?

It is important to know what you are going to do with the answer. 

Begin with the end in mind.

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