The five whys method can be used to either locate the basic grounds for a problem or to find the different reasons for the same problem.
Problem solving/brainstorming. Root Cause Analysis. Idea/solution validation.
10-15 min / 30 min
The initial challenge proposed by the partner or seen by the users can be a symptom to a deeper issue. It helps to try to get really to the root cause. For this, the Five Whys are a proven method.
Students with partner / users
Could be down via an online call/breakout rooms
1 In the first version, the intention behind the Five Whys is to find underlying reasons. Ask: “Why did this problem occur?” When you have an answer, then ask: “Why is this the case” and repeat the procedure until you have asked ‘Why’ five times. The answer to the fifth ‘why’ is probably the underlying reason. The following example is commonly given to discover the root cause of a car that will not start. So, “The Car Will Not Start” is the initial problem, which is written at the top. From there, the person using the 5 whys would ask these types of questions:
2 In the second version, one also asks the question ‘Why’ five times, but this time, you are looking for varying reasons to a problem.