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5 whys. Why? Asking why is the most natural thing in the world so I would imagine that it is the #1 go-to for most people. But I might follow up with other techniques depending on the situation.
Not all people use the 5 whys technique properly.
Want to share what techniques and tools you use?
It depends on the problem. A single point failure is much better suited to the 5 whys rather than a systemic failure with multiple failure points.
I've found 5 Why's and doing brainstorming/brainwriting with subsequent dot voting helps. If you have actual data to help identify root cause, then Pareto charting is a good way to get buy-in to proceed with the vital few...
Whenever I find an answer that cannot be controlled I know that somewhere between the first and the current why we have missed something (or overshot the root cause) and I would go back to find it.
One thing I've seen suggested before is asking the same question 5 times. I cannot really see how that would be efficient in any way because basing the next why on the previous why is what moves you towards the cause.
But as I said in the beginning I would not advocate that the technique name is seen literally but rather as an indication that you need to question something down to a level where a change will make a difference.
CRT and Fishbone is something I will use only for more complex problems that require a visual model.
Yesterday I read an article on a blog that uses the term 5 Whys applying it to communication:
What, Why, When, Where Who by joining How, introduced by Rudyard Kipling
I remembered this topic about 5 Whys, created by Sakichi Toyoda to go to the root cause of the problems.
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