5 Whys Framework

The 5 Whys framework helps you get to the root cause of a problem.


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What is it for?

The 5 Whys framework helps you get to the root cause of a problem. By continually probing into current challenges faced, you'll be able to uncover the initial cause of the challenge you are faced with.
Tips: If you find several answers to asking your first ‘why’, you can address each answer with its own set of ‘5 Whys’.

When to use it:

To understand the reason behind a user’s behaviour (for instance in an interview session, or to uncover the underlying cause of a problem)

Who can use it:

Innovation Executives, Product teams, Customer Experience teams and Design Researchers

How to use it:

Place the tool where all team members can view it.

Define the problem you want to answer. Let the problem be clearly stated. For example, why are moms not buying our products? Ensure your answers are factual and not based on assumptions.

When the first line question has been answered, continue probing with the question 'why' up until you have been able to identify the root cause of the challenge (usually identified after the fifth 'why' question).

When you’ve arrived at your final answer (and you’ll know it’s your final answer when asking ‘why’ produces no workable answer), find ways to address the problem.

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