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The Five Whys, or Bring Your Inner Child To Work There is one thing that most toddlers do that is a good business practice. They ask “Why?” They ask “Why?” at a certain stage. This stage is likely preferable to the one where they say “NO!” To everything. This can get tiring, but I can see why. No matter how patient our parents were during our “Why?” phase, it seems like we lose that sense of curiosity. We often lose our curiosity, no matter how patient our parents were during our?Why? phase. This sense of curiosity can be a great guide. This is what I mean by the?The Five Whys? tool. The Five Whys? is a tool you might consider using. You can use?The Five Whys? to do root cause analysis and help you understand the reasons behind your project. Let’s look at this: Although you and your team know that there is a problem with the project, it could also be caused by multiple factors. This is the perfect time to use what you know to find the root cause.

  • We delivered the product on time to our customer. We did not exceed budget. Yet, they won’t hire us again. WHY won’t we be hired again? ?
  • They were not satisfied with the product we delivered. WHY did the product not meet their expectations? ? ?
  • The customer claims that functionality is missing. WHY does the customer claim that functionality is missing? ?
  • The customer has a different requirements list than the one we used. WHY is the customer using a different requirements list than ours? ?
  • The company lost its initial project manager, and it was not easy to transition to the new manager. The new project manager believed he had the correct documentation. WHY did we use the wrong version because of a change in our project manager?
  • Because I know you can use this tool, I will stop. It is also clear that it can take more than five reasons and sometimes less than five. It is important that you keep at it until you discover the true cause of the problem. You may discover more than one reason. You may already have colleagues who look at your face and ask, “Why are we doing this ?????” This is a good thing. They can help you get started. Do not be discouraged by the why questions. You don’t have to answer every why. This is a team effort. The why questions can be fun and part of your team culture. Ask your team to be children and ask why, why?, why?, why?, WHY? You could also hire a toddler to be your consultant.