The 5 “Whys” method was invented in the ‘30s by Sakichi Toyoda, founder of Toyota.
It provides a way of clearly identifying the root cause of a problem, or questioning the initial intention of a project to find out the true reasons or motivations behind it.
The basis of Toyota’s scientific approach is to ask why five times whenever we find a problem … By repeating why five times, the nature of the problem as well as its solution becomes clear. Taiichi Ōno
Identification of the problem or question
Ask each participant to note down a fact or question relating to the topic.
Ask “why?” five times: starting from what they have written, everyone must ask themselves “why?” They answer the question once to find the cause of the problem, and then repeat the process four more times.