5 Whys Analysis

5 Whys Analysis is a simple but effective method of analyzing and solving problems by asking “why” five times – or as many times as needed to determine root cause.

5 Whys Analysis Example:a refridgerator schematic

  1. Why did the refrigerator stop working?  Compressor motor stopped working
  2. Why did the compressor motor stop working? It overheated
  3. Why did the compressor motor overheat?  Poor air circulation on a very hot day
  4. Why was there poor air circulation? The refrigerator was pushed against the wall and paper bags were stuffed around the refrigerator
  5. Why was refrigerator pushed against the wall and bags stuffed around the refrigerator? Poor process procedure

The 5-Whys is a good way to start and construct cause-and-effect diagrams.

Cause and Effect Diagram Example

5 Whys Analysis Cause and Effect Example, also known as fishbone diagram

« Back to Glossary Index