Can asking WHY solve a problem?

Category: General Posted:Dec 16, 2014 By: admin

whyAsking why has been a notable feature of a five year old child. But can asking why solve our problem. Lean Six Sigma tells us that this is the most frequently used analysis technique to find out the actual cause of a problem. This technique has been used in the analyse phase of DMAIC cycle. Now the question arises how to use this tool. It’s very simple. Just ask “Why” until you reach to the root cause of the problem. Using these techniques we use corrective measures rather than finding solutions for a problem. It helps to find solutions for the forthcoming problems.  Let us see an example where this technique can be applied:

Problem: Business client refuses to pay for the brochures that has been exclusively printed for them

  1. Why? The deliverable was not done on time. And the client did not receive the brochure on time.
  2. Why? The project time was extremely long and the job took longer time.
  3. Why? Printer did not work properly and it was out of ink.
  4. Why? The employees used all the ink in the printer for printing
  5. Why? The order for new ink was not on time and the company ran out of stocks for ink.

Measure for future: From next time onwards the company shall find a supplier who can deliver the ink in short notice period or company shall procure stocks of ink.

Hence this technique involves finding of solution until you reach the real cause for the existing problem. So start with the problem and reach till the grounded cause of the problem. This has helped many companies in identifying the wasteful practice and to solve the problem before it arises again in future. In a nutshell this a simple technique which we have been following over past few years to solve our problem.For Lean Six Sigma Training needs at ZaranTech, Visit

Call  515-978-7846 or email


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