What is the Five Whys Process, and what are best practices, tools and online templates for teams and organizations?
Definition of The Five Whys Process
The Five Whys Process provides business leaders and managers with a simple and easy to understand methods used in the Analyze phase of DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) within the Lean Six Sigma process. In order to complete the Five Whys Process, business leaders must conduct a basic root cause analysis with the intention of drilling down to the essence of a problem in order to find out why it occurs and prevent its recurrence.
Description of The Five Whys Process
The Five Whys Process walks business leaders and managers through the process of identifying a problem without the use of hypothesis testing, advanced regression analysis or complicated data analytics. Simply put, the Five Whys process asks the question “why?” until there are no more answers to be had and a root cause is identified. Five Whys does not refer to the exact number of times a business leader should ask why, instead it provides a rough guide.
Here’s how you complete the Five Whys Process:
- Form a core team
- Define the problem
- Ask the “Five Whys” (Answer the question at least five times)
- Address the root cause and assign responsible parties
- Monitor the measures over time
Tools & Templates
The tools and resources that leaders use to make the most of the Five Whys Process template are internal stakeholder interviews, project plans, and business strategy documents.
upBOARD's Online Five Whys Process Tools & Template
Unlike most traditional process checklists and problem solving models, upBOARD’s online Five Whys Process model tool allows any team or organization to instantly begin working with our web templates and input forms. Our digital platform goes far beyond other software tools by including progress dashboards, data integration from existing documents or other SaaS software, elegant intuitive designs, and full access on any desktop or mobile device.
Learn more about upBOARD’s portfolio of other business strategy best practice tools and templates, including:
2 X 2 Matrix, ADL Matrix, Affinity Diagrams, Baker’s 4 Strategies of Influence, Balanced Scorecard, Benchmarking, Blue Ocean Strategy, Bowman Strategy Clock, Build-Measure-Learn Feedback Loop, Business Model Canvas, CAGE Distance Framework, Competitive Analysis, Competitive Landscape Analysis, Contingency Planning, Core Competence Analysis, Critical Success Factors, Discovery Driven Planning, Economic Value Added, First Mover Advantage, Five Forces Model, Force Field Analysis, Gap Analysis, GE McKinsey 9-Box Matrix, Go To Market Strategy, Hambrick & Frederickson’s Strategy Diamond, Hedgehog Model, Hook Model of Behavioral Design, Hoshin Planning System, Kay’s Distinctive Capabilities Framework, Key Outcome Indicators, Kotler’s Five Product Levels Model, Kotler’s Pricing Strategies, Lafley & Martin’s Five Step Strategy Model, McKinsey 7S Model, McKinsey’s Seven Degrees of Freedom for Growth, Mergers & Acquisitions, Mission Statements, Mullin’s Seven Domains Model, OGSM Framework, Ohmae’s 3-C’s Model, Partner Relationship Management, PEST Analysis, PESTLE Analysis, Porter’s Diamond, Portfolio Management, Purpose Statements, Pyramid of Purpose, Scenario Planning, Simonson & Rosen’s Influence Mix, SMART Performance Metrics, SMARTER Goals, SOAR, Strategic Goals, Strategy Map, Strategy Roadmap, Strategy Uncertainty Map, SWOT Analysis, TOWS Matrix, Triple Bottom Line, USP Analysis, Value Chain Analysis, Value Disciplines Model, Value Net Model, Values Statement, Vision Statements, VRIO Analysis, and Weisbord’s Six-Box Model.