joi, 18 aprilie 2013

5 Whys Quickly Getting to the Root of a Problem

Why use the tool?
The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps users to get to the root of the problem quickly. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: “Why?” and “What caused this problem?”

Very often, the answer to the first “why” will prompt another “why” and the answer to the second “why” will prompt another and so on; hence the name the 5 Whys strategy.
Key Points:
The 5 Whys strategy is an easy and often-effective tool for uncovering the root of a problem. Because it is so elementary in nature, it can be adapted quickly and applied to most any problem. Bear in mind, however, that if it doesn’t prompt an intuitive answer, other problem-solving techniques may need to be applied.

This article is part of the Solve and Decide Learning Stream. To read the next article in this Learning Stream, or to find out more about Learning Streams for Premium members, click on the links below.

Also below, you’ll find links to the next article in our Problem Solving section,  and to further related Mind Tools resources.

Extracting Maximum Information From Facts

Appreciation is a very simple but powerful technique for extracting the maximum amount of information from a simple fact.

Starting with a fact, ask the question 'So what?' - i.e. what are the implications of that fact? Keep on asking that question until you have drawn all possible inferences.
Appreciation is a technique used by military planners, so we will take a military example:

Fact: It rained heavily last night

So What?
- The ground will be wet
So What?
- It will turn into mud quickly
So What?
- If many troops and vehicles pass over the same ground, movement will be progressively slower and more difficult as the ground gets muddier and more difficult.
So What?
- Where possible, stick to paved roads. Otherwise expect movement to be much slower than normal.

While it would be possible to reach this conclusion without the use of a formal technique, Appreciation provides a framework within which you can extract information quickly, effectively and reliably.
Key points:
Asking 'so what?' repeatedly helps you to extract all important information implied by a fact.

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