Five Whys: Easy way of Root Cause Analysis


Are you struggling to find out RCA (Root cause analysis) of a problem? 

“Five Whys” is a method that uses a series of questions to drill down into successive layers of a problem. The basic idea is that each time you ask why, the answer becomes the basis of the next why. It’s a simple yet powerful tool which helps to identify the cause-and-effect relationships lying under a specific problem. 

Here’s an example of how to use the 5 Whys:

Problem Statement: Why we missed product launch date?

  1. Why we missed product launch date? BECAUSE there were lot of last-minute quality issues 
  2. Why there were last minute quality issues? BECAUSE build was not stable
  3. Why build was not stable? BECAUSE features were not developed as expected
  4. Why features were not developed as expected? BECAUSE Developer was overburden 
  5. Why Developer was overburden? BECAUSE of poor estimation.

So, we found the reason of delay in launch date which was poor estimation process.

Organization now may focus on eliminating the root cause. Project Manager may now work upon streamlining the estimation process and eradicate all gaps in order to achieve desired milestone.


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