Everything you need to know about What is the 5 Whys tool?

We usually face problems while working on a project and use different methods to get rid of them but cannot. Sometimes, we directly look for the solution naming its smart work. Smart work is not suitable for all kinds of problems, but we need to look for some detailed observations and then for the solution. For this purpose, the project manager needs to know what 5 why tools are and go through them to reach the root cause of the problem.

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When you are learning what is 5 Whys tool, you will get to know about its benefits and important components of locating the problem. When you know what the root cause of the problem is, you can efficiently look for the solutions. Trying to solve the problems without knowing the reason is like targeting something in a deep sea of darkness where nothing is visible. So, before you go for the solution, look for the cause of the problem, which is restricting you from reaching your goal.

What is the 5 Whys?

What is the 5 whys tool? It is just like the lighthouse that helps you to find out the way by knowing the hurdle and other distractions on your path. When you are working on a project, you are dealing with different tasks which may belong to you or your team members.

 5 whys allow you to arrange your team, guide them, look for the process to track the problem, and then define the strategies to find out the solutions. If you feel you are going through a different problem and looking for their solutions for a longer time, then you should look for another way of learning what is 5 why tool and how it can help you to solve the problems.

It is not easy to deal with problems, but when you learn what is 5 and why the tool is and start using it, you will find the way because you know the causes. As 5 Why tool is all about asking the questions about why this problem happens, which means you are trying to track out the root causes which are not allowing it to let go away.

When do you need to use the 5 whys tool?

Thinking of when you should learn what is 5 Whys tool and how to use it for bringing out the best results? You should have an idea about the occasions when you will need to use the 5 Whys tool and track the root causes of problems that are becoming a great hurdle in your way to success. If you think you are going through the following occasions, you should look to knowing about what is 5 Whys tool.

When you are facing complex issues

If you are facing a complex issue that does not allow you to look for the next processing of your project and you are not getting out of them even after making a lot of struggles, you should look for 5 Whys. Sometimes, you are trying to remove the problem, but you are unable to do so and find the issue too complex. For such complex issues, 5 Whys would help you to track every kind of cause behind getting this problem.

When your team is looking for some motivation

Usually, we involve our teams while working on a project, especially when it comes to a commercially big project. It needs a huge team, but can you think that just by hiring the team, you can complete this project. No, as all team members are not too efficient in problem tracking while working, but it is necessary to look for the kind of problem and solve it on time. So, if you want to motivate your team so that they can independently work, you should tell them about what is 5 Whys tool and prepare them to deal with the problem.

To find out the root causes of simple problems.

Many times, we cannot find out the solution just because of some little negligence or smart working style. We need to look smartly inside the problems instead of looking for the solutions directly. Thinking of how can you look for these causes?

Yes, you can track the causes of simple problems as well just by brainstorming by asking some questions from yourself and your team as well. The questions must belong to why a family like why have you not achieved your target? Why could not I reach on time? Why your product is not up-to-mark. After this brainstorming, you will surely find the root causes of multiple simple problems.

For determining the processes which are not appropriate

When you are looking for the proper processes to get to your destination, you can use the 5 whys tool. This tool will help you to determine the parts of the process which is not appropriate and distracting you from your actual path. 5 whys will help you to get that misleading point and enable you to reach your final destination.

Steps to complete 5 Whys

When you are looking for what is 5 why tool and how to use it, you will also need the guiding steps to complete the 5 Whys. The following steps will gradually help you to get your position clear in nay project.

Build your team

First of all, you need to have a team assisting you in completing different tasks. If we go through leadership habits, we will come to know about the importance of synergism and working in a team. According to this phenomenon, 1+1=3 which means if two minds look for the same problem while working together, they bring more than two solutions.

When you are building a team, you should look for the team members' expertise so that you can assign them the relative tasks. Categorize the team members and declare one of them as master or leader. The leader of the team will keep track of the team's tasks. The team leader will keep the team members focused on their task and help them to provide all needed resources they can need of.

Define problem

When you have chosen a team of experts, you need to go through the problem by making observations and analytical reports. Whenever you are working on big projects, you are working with one or more than one team. There are more than enough chances to have problems during teamwork due to lack of communication and many other reasons.

Suppose two teams, team A and team B, are working with you on a project, and team A is not showing the expected results.

It's alarming for the project completion and needs to address on time before your project collapses. To make things right on time, you need to look for the problem due to which team A is lacking behind and cannot proceed smoothly. So, the second most important step is to define the problem restricting the team from reaching its goal.

Now, look for 5 Whys of the problem.

When you have defined the problem that is letting your team detract and keeping it at the back, you need to look for the 5 Whys now. 5 Whys will help you to get the root causes of the problem. What you need to do is to design at least 5 questions of why which must represent the fundamental and easy-to-understand question. Start with first why asking the question why did it happen, then move forward to the next Whys.

Get to know when to stop.

Sometimes, when we start asking 5 why we should know what the better end of the whys is. So, during this step, you need to be more conscious about the questions of whys. Writing whys is a hard and most important task that reveals the root causes of the problem. When you feel you have reached the why, which reveals the root cause of the problem, you should stop there. In some cases, if you think you have not reached the root causes, you can continue until you have not explored the exact cause.

Take action to solve the whys.

Now, you know the root causes of the problem after getting the stop point. You need to organize the causes and categorize them according to their importance. After categorization, address each cause of the problem one after one by setting a special strategy for each.

Keep monitoring

While going through all Whys and addressing the root causes of the problem, you should keep looking at each step of your team member and continue concluding.

How 5 Whys are of advantage?

5 Whys are helping the project managers in various ways like:

·   Assist you in tracking the root causes of the problem.

·   Help you to avoid waste of time by making quick and wrong decisions

·   Everyone can use it due to its simplicity and easiness

What limitations do we observe during the use of 5 Whys?

No doubt 5 Whys is a great tool to use for tracking the causes of the problem, but it brings some limitations as well.

·   It is easy but not fluent for everyone. The person must know what 5 Whys tool is and how to run it effectively.

·   If you do not have enough knowledge about the project steps, you won't be able to uncover the causes of problems.


You need to go through every aspect while learning about the 5 Whys tool to understand its actual essence and take full advantage of this tool.

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