The Five Whys

The Five Whys

Updated Apr 29, 2020

The 5 Whys is a tool that can be used to determine the root cause of a problem. This tool can be used as a stand-alone, but it is also often used during the Analyze phase of a larger Six Sigma project. The tool is easy to administer because it does not require statistical analysis or data collection like other root cause tools. It does not require a large budget and does not keep employees away from their other responsibilities. It relies simply on asking "why" questions until a root cause is discovered. So, in summary, we are literally asking "why" five times to determine what process is broken.