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5 Whys

Use digital checklists and the 5 Why method to optimise teamwork in your company.

5 Whys Template

Use this 5 Whys template to determine the root cause of a problem so that your business teams can prevent encountering them again.

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5 Whys Form Template

A 5 whys form template is used by business teams to drill down to the root cause of a problem using the 5 Whys technique.

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What is a 5 Why template?

To perform the 5 Why method with template facilitates to perform and document the steps of root cause analysis. The checklist format makes it easier to identify the root cause of a particular problem and find appropriate solutions. At the same time, the template serves as a tool for action tracking and effectiveness monitoring.

A 5 Why template is used to document the following data:

  1. Company/Organization
  2. Time of implementation
  3. Problem description
  4. Going through the 5 why questions
  5. Actions and completion dates
  6. Efficacy consideration

The goal of the 5 Why template is to get to the root cause of the problem by asking deeper and deeper questions. Once the cause is identified, appropriate countermeasures are to be defined and noted in the template so that they can be initiated immediately.

This article deals with:

1. Why a checklist for the 5 Why analysis is useful

2. The 5 steps of the 5 Why method

2. The digital 5 Why template

The advantages of a checklist in the 5 Why analysis

Recommended for the application and documentation of the 5 Why method is an appropriate checklist. It can be used to identify the problem solution in a simple and structured manner and to initiate and track countermeasures.

A checklist for the 5 Why method must include all questions and provide scope for tracking countermeasures. It must also take into account that a thorough 5 Why analysis requires time, effort and follow-up. However, it is worth the effort: checklists help to efficiently identify problems and define and implement measures in a targeted manner.

The 5 steps of the 5 Why method

Using the 5 Why method may be simple when done individually, but it is much more effective when done as a team. In order to effectively identify a root cause together, it is necessary to communicate clearly, logically, and diplomatically.

The following five steps should be followed by each team in doing the 5 Why analysis:

1. Assemble a team

For the 5 Why method, a team of people from different departments should always be assembled. Everyone involved must be familiar with the process being studied. A cross-functional team allows different perspectives to be obtained

This helps gather enough information to make an informed decision. This is not a stand-alone task and should always be done by the team.

2. Define the problem

The more information that is gathered, the faster the root cause will be addressed. The following questions can form a basis for this:

  1. What is the difficulty?
  2. When did it occur for the first time?
  3. How often?
  4. By whom was it discovered?
  5. What consequences have resulted?

It is important to get an on-site picture and talk to all concerned parties. It should not be done remotely, from the desk, assessments. It is important at this stage not to make any assumptions that might later lead to the wrong conclusions.

Even in large companies it can be helpful to use a digital application to collect all relevant information in a knowledge base.

3. Asking "why"

An employee should be the team leader for the entire process. He or she asks the questions and sees that the team stays on track. Answers should be based on data and facts, not opinions.

The "why" should be asked as many times as necessary until the team has identified the root cause of the initial problem. What is difficult is maintaining a balance. Too much questioning can lead to inappropriate suggestions and complaints. Therefore, the focus should always be on the root cause.

Sometimes there is more than one root cause for a problem. In these cases, the 5 Why analysis looks like a matrix with different branches. This can also identify organizational problems that negatively impact overall performance.

4. Initiate and implement corrective actions

Once the root cause of the problem has been identified, it is time to take countermeasures. All team members should be involved in the conversation to find and implement the best solution. This should protect processes from recurring problems in the future. It is important to set timelines and responsibilities for all actions.

After a certain time, the team should reconvene and check whether the measures have had a positive effect. If not, the process needs to be repeated.

5. Try alternatives

When there is more than one cause for a problem, the Ishikawa diagram is often used in addition. applied. It allows the representation of several main and secondary causes that contribute to the solution. Because of its appearance, it is also called a fishbone diagram.

The 5 Why digital template: an example

Lumiform's mobile app for checklists and other templates brings everything needed for a 5 Why template. Quality and safety checks can be performed efficiently and easily. Analyzed issues can be shared instantly with the entire team through the app.

Thus, corrective actions can be implemented faster by responsible colleagues. Easy communication with everyone on the team allows internal processes to be better agreed upon and problems to be solved up to four times faster.

Individual digital forms

The flexible form builder makes it possible to create new individual checklists for the 5 Why method at any time and adapt them again and again.

Scheduling and notifications

The Lumiform app ensures that the schedule is followed. All employees receive notifications about the procedure and due dates.

Timed work steps

Everyone on the team keeps track of the schedule through the app and uses all available information to identify the root cause of the problem and find countermeasures.

Quick analysis of problems

The data and facts collected during the survey can be found under the analysis tab. Here, everyone can access the informatione. This helps identify the root causes of a problem more quickly.

Tracking actions over time

Lumiform makes it easier to track the implementation and success of measures. This allows for early intervention if corrective actions are not working.

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