Many companies have an unpredicted Quality problem with their product or service that is normally a sign of a deeper issue that needs to be address and solved quickly. A highly effective root cause analysis method is the 5 Whys Method. This technique will help you find the root cause of the problem and keep the mistakes from recurring.

For successful implementation of this root cause analysis method, an informed decision needs to be made. This means that a decision needs to be made based on the understanding of the issue at hand. It is a good idea to talk to people with practical experience in their area of expertise so they can give you the most valuable information regarding the problem.

When you apply the 5 Whys root cause analysis method, you want to get to the center of the problem and then fix it. Most assume the issue is a technical problem, but it turns out being a human or process problem. That is why it is crucial in finding and correcting the root cause to avoid continual failure.

How to Implement the 5 Whys Root Cause Analysis Method

 According to Kanbanize(1.), here are the basic steps for the 5 Whys you should follow:

  1. Form a team – Assemble a team of people from different departments. Forming a cross-functional team allows you to receive unique points of view and collect information to make an informed decision.
  2. Define the problem – Discuss the problem with the team and make a clear statement. It will help you define the scope of the issue you are going to investigate.
  3. Ask Why – Empower one person to facilitate the whole process. This team leader will ask the questions and keep the team focused. The answers should be based on facts and real data, not on emotional opinions. The facilitator should ask “Why” as many times as needed until the root cause of the initial problem can be identified.
  4. Take Action – After the team detects the root cause(s), it is time to take corrective actions. All members should be involved on a discussion to find and apply the best solution that will protect your process from recurring problems.

Overall, the 5 Whys root cause analysis method is an effective choice by asking a sequence of “Why” related questions to analyze and solve the root cause of the problem. It will also encourage your team members to share ideas to continually improve practices and eliminate or prevent processes from recurring.

At IQPS, our Root Cause Analysis Training course will teach you different root cause analysis methods that you can use to determine and address any Quality issues at your company. Please call us Toll Free at 800.540.9758, email us at, or sign up for our Root Cause Analysis course today.


  1. Kanbanize, 5 Whys: The Ultimate Root Cause Analysis Tool by Kanbanize |