Quality Problem Solving

Quality Problem Solving-38
This is because 5 Whys can lead you to pursue a single track, or a limited number of tracks, of inquiry when, in fact, there could be multiple causes.In cases like these, a wider-ranging method such as Cause and Effect Analysis may be more effective.

This is because 5 Whys can lead you to pursue a single track, or a limited number of tracks, of inquiry when, in fact, there could be multiple causes.In cases like these, a wider-ranging method such as Cause and Effect Analysis may be more effective.

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Have you ever had a problem that refused to go away?

No matter what you did, sooner or later it would return, perhaps in another form.

The tool's simplicity gives it great flexibility, too, and 5 Whys combines well with other methods and techniques, such as Root Cause Analysis quality improvement methodology.

The model follows a very simple seven-step process: Gather together people who are familiar with the specifics of the problem, and with the process that you're trying to fix.

For example, saying "volume of calls is too high" is better than a vague "overloaded." For each of the answers that you generated in Step 3, ask four further "whys" in succession. Similarly, asking "Why did the job take longer than expected? " at this point reveals a single reason (Reason 1). " here identifies two possibilities (Reasons 1 and 2) before a possible counter-measure becomes evident.

Each time, frame the question in response to the answer you've just recorded. There is also a second reason for "Why we ran out of printer ink" (Reason 2), and a single answer for the next "Why?

" If you do, make sure that you haven't stopped too soon, and that you're not simply accepting "knee-jerk" responses. The great thing about 5 Whys is that it prompts you to go further than just assigning blame, and to ask why that happened.

This often points to organizational issues or areas where processes need to be improved.

Search for answers that are grounded in fact: they must be accounts of things that have actually happened, not guesses at what might have happened.

This prevents 5 Whys from becoming just a process of deductive reasoning, which can generate a large number of possible causes and, sometimes, create more confusion as you chase down hypothetical problems.

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