5 Whys


My car 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 has never been replaced. (fourth why)
  5. Why? – I have not been maintaining my car according to the recommended service schedule. (fifth why, a root cause)

Solution is I will start maintaining my car according to the recommended service schedule. (solution)

Another innovative way to figure out the roots of problems. The 5 Whys is a question-asking method used to explore the cause/effect relationships underlying a particular problem. Ultimately, the goal of applying the 5 Whys method is to determine a root cause of a defect or problem. Toyota Company used this during the evolution of their manufacturing methodologies. Link to the full Wikipedia article here.
Maybe use this in analyzing and finding the root of problems, even in our daily lives, much like how paraphrasing works to keep everyone understand each other.
What do you think? Where can you use this? Throw in your comments at whynepal.com

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