The 5 Whys

Category: Analyse
Author: Ilse Fraussen
Facilited by the teacher
The aim is to identify the underlying cause of the challenge to create an optimal solution for it.
10-30 min.
20-40 students 4-10 groups
A virtual whiteboard, Padlet


1. The challenge as defined from earlier are written as a “why” question e.g., if the challenge is how can we stop the icecaps melting? This should be rewritten as ‘Why are the icecaps melting?’
2. The students are divided into groups by using
3. The groups answer the question and write it as a ‘Why’ question.
4. The students repeat the process 5 times to reach the reason for the problem in the challenge.
5. The students review the ‘Why’ answers which will identify the nature of the challenge, and uses this to pursuit more information about the challenge.


Inspired by: SakichiToyada – the inventor of Toyota Industries