The 5 Whys is a simple problem-solving technique that helps you to get to the root of a problem quickly. Made popular in the 1970s by the Toyota Production System, the 5 Whys strategy involves looking at any problem and asking: "Why?" and "What caused this problem?"
The answer to one question leads you on to frame the next Why…? Question. But it may not always be possible to ask or answer the next question immediately. You may need to gather and analyses more information in order to answer it properly, or do more thinking and brainstorming.
Benefits of the 5 Whys include:
• It helps you to quickly determine the root cause of a problem.
• It's simple, and easy to learn and apply.
How to Use the Tool
When you're looking to solve a problem, start at the end result and work backward (toward the root cause), continually asking: "Why?" You'll need to repeat this over and over until the root cause of the problem becomes apparent.
Stain On the finished garment in finishing department.
1. Why Stains are there ( dirt marks from the production floor )
2. Why dirt mark from the floor (due to poor handling of garments in production floor)
3. Why poor handling on the floor. ( operator keeping finished bundles on the floor)
4. Why Operator keeping finished bundles on the floor
5. Bins not available.
So you got the root cause for the dirt stain that bins are not available on the production floor.
Above is a simple example that how 5 Why technique can help you quickly get to the root of a problem. Though there are other tools also available like root cause analyses or cause and effect analyses which we will discuss in separate article.