5*(5Ws and 1H)
* Who? Who was involved?
* What? What happened (what’s the story)?
* When? When did it take place?
* Where? Where did it take place?
* Why? Why did it happen?
* How? How did it happen?
Treating this like a mathematical equation
Toyota came up with the principle – 5 Whys for problem definition and analysis.
Now, applying Toyota’s law of Question like you have never done before, we should be able to extrapolate the 5Ws and 1H and pop each question 5 times.
Really Godzilla size picture = 5*(5W+1H)
Example: If I take the wiki 5-Whys example of the battery going dead and applying 5-Whats, we get
* Who? Who was involved? Who was involved with this person? who did this person involve? and so on…
* What? What happened (what’s the story)? what happened before this? what happened after this? what happened to one of the components/characters of the story? What are related stories in other domains? what are some related domains? (This leads to a 9-windows)
* When? When did it take place? When did that take place? when did this take place? when should it not take place? dont stop till you have asked 5 Whens.
* Where? Where did it take place? Where could it have taken place? where shouldnt it take place?
* Why? Why did it happen? why not? (5Ys, oh, c’mon, we know how to do this)
* How? How did it happen? how do you plan to implement anything? how did this continue for so long? how can we make it go on for ever (How’s of Quality in QFD is a barrage of How’s)
Now, one can try to be cute and have a matrix of 5Ws and 1H and generate a sequence and give it to a team doing the analysis.
Example: Why is the dead battery a problem ? because cars can’t start without them. Why do cars need batteries? To get the alternator moving. Where is the alternator vis-a-vis a battery? about 2 feet away. How far can it be kept?… and so on…
One possible outcome of this random approach is – we are questioning why should the battery be in the same place as the alternator.
now the equation will be:
A Nasty intricate picture with random lines = Where + 2*whys + What + Who + How + 3*When
The orderly approach leads to very systematic probing, the disorderly approach can lead you places you may never have thought about.
Also, sticking ourselves to just 1 set of 5Ws and 1H may leave us wondering what the right order is and how many times should we be asking a particular question.
Just to give a twist on the terminology, here is what it would in french – QQOQCCP.