Friday, February 2, 2018

'5 WHYs' RTA methodology

Something went wrong in the process. How to clearly identify what exactly is the root cause of the issue to prevent it from happening in the future?

Let's look at the example.

A wrong product has been delivered to the customer.
Using '5 WHYs' methodology, we start asking a simple 'Why?' question.
1. WHY was the wrong product delivered?
The purchase department provided the wrong information.
2. WHY did the purchase department provide the wrong information?
The found this information on the server and assumed it was up to date.
3. WHY wasn’t the information updated on the server?
Sales had been negotiating with the customer and forgot to update the information on the server.

A possible modification to the process would be for the purchasing department to contact the sales before the delivery of the goods.

In the example above we have used just 3 WHYs. Often it takes 5 WHYs to find the cause. As an any tool, 5WHYs does not have a universal application. There will be situations when more (way more) than 5 WHYs will be necessary to find the root cause of the problem.

But in practice - this is an easy, handy and powerful tool to use.

More articles on Quality on the Qooling blog

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