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From a quality management standpoint, a problem may be reported in an organization from one of the following processes:

  • Complaints
  • Nonconformance
  • CAPA
  • Audit Finding
  • Safety Incident
  • Safety Observation

Since a problem may have its origin elsewhere, drilling down and asking the right questions is not a boardroom activity but requires the people on the shop floor, the quality team, the safety team, and other stakeholders that are part of the process to get involved. A typical and effective process would include:

  • Assembling a Team: The first step would be to assemble a team of people that consists of relevant stakeholders. It is critical to appoint someone as a facilitator — to keep the team focused on identifying effective, corrective and preventive measures.
  • Define the Problem: The second step would require writing a clear problem statement that all team members agree on.
  • Start the ‘Why’ Process: The next step would be to ask the first “Why?” to identify the reason because of which the problem occurred. The ‘Why’ needs to be answered based on facts and data analysis.
  • The Subsequent Whys: As the answer to the first ‘why’ emerges, the second ‘why’ will have to be framed and the process goes on till the root cause is identified. It could be after three ‘whys’ and does not necessarily have to be five; or, it could be more depending on the complexity of the problem.

In this whitepaper we talk about:

  • Origin of 5 Why technique
  • Root cause investigation flow
  • Why existing 5 Why tools are ineffective
  • CQ’s built-in 5 Why functionality and how it can help your organization
  • And more

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