5 Benefits of the 5 Whys method and free 5 Whys template to download

Problem > Solution - 5 Why's Analysis

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5 Benefits of the 5 Whys: 

  1. It helps to quickly identify the root cause of a problem.
  2. It helps to differentiate between the contributing factors of a problem and its root cause(s).
  3. It helps determine the relationship between different root causes of a problem.
  4. It can be learned quickly and doesn't require statistical analysis to be used.

When are the 5 Whys most useful?

  1. When problems involve human factors or interactions.
  2. In all types of health, safety and environmental situations whether investigating a personal injury or solving the reasons behind an environmental incident.

Example of a 5 Why Analysis.

A worker looses the tip of his finger when it's pinched between a drive belt and an unguarded pulley. The first step is to identify the problem. In our case it's self-evident. Continue to ask WHY about each response to a question and when you are no longer able to answer the question you've likely arrived at a root cause.

#1 Why was the worker's finger crushed?

  His finger was caught between a moving pulley and belt.

#2 Why was the finger caught between the pulley and the belt?

  The guard on the pulley was missing.

#3 Why was the guard missing?

 A mechanic had overlooked replacing it.

#4 Why was it overlooked?

There is no written equipment servicing checklist.

#5 Why is there no checklist?

  No hazard assessment was completed.

You can use this free 5 Whys method template 👇

Download a free 5 whys template for your maintenance or reliability activities :