When confronted with a problem, have you ever stopped and asked “why” five times? If you do not ask the right question, you will not get the right answer. The Five Whys is a simple question-asking technique that explores the cause-and-effect relationships underlying problems.
For every effect there is a cause. But the results chain between the two is fairly long and becomes finer as one moves from inputs to activities, outputs, outcome, and impact. In results-based management, the degree of control one enjoys decreases higher up the chain and the challenge of monitoring and evaluating correspondingly increases. In due course, when a problem appears, the temptation is strong to blame others or external events. Yet, the root cause of problems often lies closer to home.
The Five Whys Technique
Author: Olivier Serrat