What is the “5 Whys Technique” and How to Use it for Problem Solving and Other Forms of Analysis?

What is the “5 Whys Technique” and How to Use it for Problem Solving and Other Forms of Analysis?

“5 Whys” is a great technique developed by Sakichi Toyoda to ask “WHY” until you identify the root cause of your business problem. It’s proven to be a powerful tool for organizations and individuals to get to the root of the problem and devise a plan to solve it. The “5 Whys Technique” is also used by advanced marketers, digital marketing agencies and social media agencies to set effective goals.

How to Use the 5 Whys:

1-     Meet the relevant team

2-     Identify your business problem/issue

3-     Ask “why?” the first time

4-     Repeat asking “why?” again four times

5-     Complete answering all the questions honestly

6-     Don’t stop until you reach the root of the problem

* It may take five iterations to get to the root cause of the problem or it may be more or less than five “whys”.

Example for the “5 Whys Technique”:

As a branding agency in Egypt, first, we advise our clients to gather with the team and identify the problem, then ask “why” many times until they get to the root cause of their problem, then we take it from there. 

E.g. Why did our client’s sales decrease?

Why? Because we lost our main clients.

Why? Because clients weren’t pleased with client service.

Why? Because they had to wait for a long time for a response from employees.

Why? Because they get too many inquiries.

Why? Because the system isn’t clear and user-friendly enough for them.

Another way to use the “5 Whys Technique”, is using it to set goals, or for any type of analysis, not necessarily just problem solving. An example that we use as a digital marketing agency to set a goal for motivating clients would go like this:

Why do we at Markeona provide digital marketing services?

Why? To help businesses and organizations grow.

Why? Because we believe in them.

Why? Because their missions deserve an online presence.

Why? Because those missions will be useful and make life easier for people.

Why? Because we believe that people become happier in their interactions with the organizations’ improvements.

We’d then use the answers of these 5 Whys to create a plan to motivate our clients.

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