Define: A Guide to 5 Whys – Unleash

Define: A Guide to 5 Whys

Ask “Why” five times to understand the root of the problem.

During Team Download

  1. Select a few things that you’ve learned during research that stick out as important. Put each on a post-it note.
  2. Together as a team, ask yourselves why that is. For example, if the origin insight was “People don’t mind waiting.” Ask yourselves “Why don’t people mind waiting?”
  3. Note your answer on a post-it, and place it below the first.
  4. Repeat until you have five answers for each question.

During an Interview

  1. Ask your respondent a question that starts with “Why” to begin the series of questions.
  2. After they explain their reason, for example “Because I like to eat cake after work.” Follow-up with another why: “Why do you like to eat cake after work?”
  3. Repeat until you have asked why a total of five times. Sometimes it feels like talking to a toddler, so as you are asking, explain that you are really trying to get to the root of things, and it’s okay if the questions are difficult to answer. You simply want them to try.