The 5 Whys

Make the problem statement by specifying what is wrong with what, and describe the problem in measurable terms.

We will be using 2 techniques to determine the problem statement: 5Whys and 3W & 1H.

Both Teams will decide on a specific problem statement.

5 Whys

The 5 Whys technique is a simple process to follow to solve any problem by repeatedly asking the question “Why” (five times is a good rule of thumb), to peel away the layers of symptoms that can lead to the problem that needs to be solved.

Keep in mind that “5” is just a number. Ask “Why” as many times as you need to complete the process and take appropriate actions.

3W & 1H

The problem statement needs to answer the questions: What, Where, When and How?

Here is an example of a problem. Using 3W & 1H, we will identify a very specific problem statement.

“Employees always complain about expense reimbursements.”

What? Late reimbursements

Where? In accounting

When? Last 7 months

How big? 16% of the time

You as the facilitator, will divide the participants into 2 teams. Team 1 will use the 5Whys technique and Team 2 will use the 3W & 1H.

Give the Teams 15mins to decide on the specific problem statement. Each Team will share their specific problem statement and then collectively the entire team will decide on an overall Problem Statement.