As a parent the why questions from our children are always the hardest to answer. Turning the tables, using the why question to solve problems in our every day and work life is similarly effective.

Thanks to Sakichi Toyoda, the famous Japanese inventor and industrialist who founded the Toyota Motor Corporation, the “5 Why’s” is now an accepted management technique. When a problem occurred, Toyoda asked “why” five times to drill down and determine the source of the problem and then put into place a process to prevent the problem from recurring.  It remains such a simple but effective technique to solve simple or moderately difficult problems or improve processes.

A simple example of the “5 Whys” in action follows:

Our client is unhappy

1.  Why is our client unhappy?

Our client is unhappy because no one responded to her request for help sent to our website’s help section.

2.  Why didn’t anyone respond to her request for help?

No one responded to her request for help because Julie who usually responds to these requests is on holiday. Read More.. 

Source: Mental Toughness Partners 

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