Auditors learn a lot of useful methods and techniques, which are very effective for analyzing and solving problems. One of my most favorable techniques for the important task of root cause analysis is called „The 5 Whys“.

„Asking “Why?” may be a favorite technique of your three year old child in driving you crazy, but it could teach you a valuable Six Sigma quality lesson. The 5 Whys is a technique used in the Analyze phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology. It is a great Six Sigma tool that does not involve data segmentation, hypothesis testing, regression or other advanced statistical tools, and in many cases can be completed without a data collection plan.

By repeatedly asking the question “Why” (five is a good rule of thumb), you can peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem. Very often the ostensible reason for a problem will lead you to another question. Although this technique is called “5 Whys,” you may find that you will need to ask the question fewer or more times than five before you find the issue related to a problem.“

You’ll find further details including examples under the following link

http://www.isixsigma.com/tools-templates/cause-effect/determine-root-cause-5-whys/

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