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5 Whys Template

Unearth root causes, unravel complexities and cultivate effective solutions effortlessly.

About the 5 Whys Template

The 5 Whys Template in FigJam stands as a powerful tool designed to unravel the complexities of problems, streamline analysis, and drive impactful solutions. Rooted in the philosophy of continuous improvement, this template empowers individuals and teams to dig deep, question assumptions, and uncover the underlying causes of issues.

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What are the 5 Whys?

At its core, the 5 Whys technique is a systematic approach to problem-solving. It involves repeatedly asking "Why?" to explore the cause-and-effect relationships behind a problem. By delving into the layers of answers, the technique uncovers the root causes that often lie hidden beneath surface-level symptoms.

Why Use the 5 Whys Approach?

The 5 Whys approach offers profound benefits. It transcends the superficial to unearth the fundamental issues, enabling holistic solutions. By adopting a curious and iterative mindset, individuals and teams can prevent issues from recurring and foster continuous improvement.

The 5 Whys Template and the Fishbone Diagram

The Fishbone Diagram is an excellent starting point when faced with a complex problem. It encourages brainstorming and collaboration, allowing teams to consider a wide range of possible causes. This visual representation helps teams organize their thoughts, identify potential causes, and understand the relationships between different factors contributing to the problem.

While the Fishbone Diagram presents potential causes, the 5 Whys Template delves deeper into the layers of causality to identify the root cause of the problem. It operates on the principle of repeatedly asking "Why?" to peel back the layers of symptoms and uncover the underlying issues. By asking "Why?" multiple times (typically five times), teams can trace the problem back to its origin and address the fundamental cause.

The 5 Whys Template adds depth and specificity to the problem-solving process. It forces teams to critically analyze each layer of causality and challenges assumptions. It's a systematic approach that uncovers insights beyond the surface-level symptoms.

How Do You Use the FigJam 5 Whys Template?

  1. To begin, input the problem statement into the top left rectangle, marking it as your central focus.
  2. Initiate by asking "Why." Then, delve deeper with subsequent "because" questions, leading you to the root cause. Document these question-answer sequences in each block for reference as you validate your hypothesis. Follow this path until a comprehensive conclusion is reached.
  3. Enhance collaboration by inviting team members to share the 5 Whys Template and @mentioning them in the comments.
  4. Utilize sticky notes to highlight crucial issues or tasks needing attention. Employ color-coded sticky notes for urgency, problem severity, or assigning responsibilities for the next steps.

5 Whys Template Example

Consider this scenario: Your e-commerce website recently experienced a significant drop in sales over the past month, despite a consistent flow of traffic. You decide to use the 5 Whys to uncover the underlying reasons and devise strategies for recovery.

Step 1

Begin with a broad question and seek an answer.

Example: Why did sales drop? Sales dropped because customers have been abandoning their shopping carts during the checkout process.

Step 2

Refine the question based on the answer and elaborate.

Example: Why are customers abandoning their shopping carts? Customers are leaving their carts because they find unexpected shipping costs during the checkout.

Step 3

Delve deeper into the issue.

Example: Why are there unexpected shipping costs? Customers are encountering unexpected shipping costs because the website's shipping fee calculation is not transparent during the browsing and selection process.

Step 4

Continue narrowing the focus.

Example: Why isn't the shipping fee calculation transparent? The shipping fee calculation lacks transparency because the website's product pages do not prominently display the shipping cost policy.

Step 5

Zero in on a solution.

Example: Why doesn't the product page display the shipping cost policy? The product pages lack clear communication about the shipping cost policy because the website design prioritizes product visuals over essential information.

In this example, the 5 Whys technique uncovers a design issue as the root cause of the drop in sales. The analysis reveals that the lack of transparency regarding shipping costs on product pages is leading to cart abandonment. Armed with this insight, you can prioritize redesigning the product pages to prominently display shipping cost policies, thereby enhancing the user experience and potentially boosting sales.

FAQ about the 5 Whys Template

What are the 5 Whys questions?

The 5 Whys technique involves probing the core of a problem by repeatedly asking "why" the issue occurred. These "why questions" may appear as "Why does this recurrence persist" or "Why is this challenge arising." Iterate the "why" question a minimum of five times to uncover the underlying cause. For more depth, you can extend the exercise by repeating the 5 Whys process.

How do you document 5 Whys?

The FigJam 5 Whys Template helps you ask important questions. It lets you understand problems better and find strong solutions. Write down each "Why?" question and its answer in order. This helps you study the problem and remember it when you talk about solving it.

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