The 5WHYS+A3 is most productive when its focus is on issues in which the participants have the power, or influence, to make the change. Change will improve the system in such a way that negative results will be eliminated. The process is easy to understand and is completely visual.
“A relentless barrage of whys is the best way to prepare your mind to pierce the clouded veil of thinking caused by the status quo. Use it often.”
— Shigeo Shingo,
Considered one of the founding fathers of good manufacturing practices
The 5WHYS is simple but very powerful method of problem solving. Generally speaking, 5WHYS can address 80% of all routine issues found in the workplace.
The 5WHYS+A3 course teaches participants to use 5WHYS to solve problems and A3 to communicate, share and involve the team in developing better solutions. Students gain skills in looking at the problem clearly, identifying the basic causes, assessing the impact, understanding risk, finding quick win workable solutions and incorporating the changes into the business processes.
Topics in the course are easy to follow, textbooks and visual tools are provided and used as in real investigation scenarios:
Learn when to apply 5WHYS, and learn how people working together have more power and influence to implement change. Learn how to influence the change.
Learn how small issues can be very costly because they can repeat the same loss many times, or may escalate into large issues. One issue often leads to another, and then to another in a chain of events.
Learn how to take a fresh look at your to find many unresolved issues that are within your scope to remedy.
Learn to create a 5WHYS that flows logically using our specially designed 5WHYS field card. Focus on causes (yellow boxes) and corresponding actions (green boxes).
Now when you are familiar with the 5WHYS field card elements, it is a good time to start practising how to use it. Numerous examples provided, including those from your workplace environment.
Test causes for flow: Work backwards and forwards across the 5WHYS and ask: "Do the causes really lead to the next box"?
Test causes for switch on and off: For every cause, ask: “Could it switch the issue on and off?”
Test causes for evidence: Look for evidence that proves each cause was actually present. If there’s convincing evidence for a cause, learn how to communicate that.
Learn to construct 5WHYS in a team environment using yellow stickies.
Learn about risk. Risk is a function of likelihood and consequence. Risk Management helps you and your team assign priority in response to the severity of the risk. Learn simple approaches to quantifying risk by estimating likelihood and consequence and how these can be cross-referenced on a matrix to give a score.
Learn about A3 communication tool and its elements. The A3 helps by giving more space to communicate ideas, up to an A3-sized piece of paper. Limiting the space to only one A3 sized piece of paper forces us to focus our attention and summarise our thoughts.
Learn to evaluate implemented solutions. Solutions should always solve the problem and produce good side effects. Help, or at least, do no harm.
Using the 5WHYS inside our web-based RCA2GO software is easy and very intuitive and it visually replicates the real-life 5WHYS investigation. Data stored is easily shared between team members and updated as needed.