Get your experts on the ground to do the five-whys and you'll have a superior outcome

The five-whys is best when used as a bottom-up analysis tool. Here's why (no pun intended).

In Toyota, five whys analysis is almost always done by a subject matter expert, such as the person on the factory floor with firsthand knowledge of the problem.

The 5-whys tool is superior when used bottom-up (as opposed to top-down) and this makes sense: it simply isn't possible for someone sitting up in management to truly understand the entire situation and the details contributing to a problem.

If a 5-whys is conducted top-down by someone in management with limited visibility of the issue, then the answers to each why will likely be educated guesses or miss out on critical detail, compromising the integrity of the root causes.

If you apply countermeasures based on inaccurate root causes, then the problem is likely to emerge again because they have not eliminated the true root cause.

Part of the Toyota Promise is that people in management trust their people to provide robust root cause analysis and recommendations, helping management to make the right decisions.

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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead: Get your experts on the ground to do the five-whys and you'll have a superior outcome
Get your experts on the ground to do the five-whys and you'll have a superior outcome
The five-whys is best when used as a bottom-up analysis tool. Here's why (no pun intended).
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Karn Bulsuk: Full Speed Ahead
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