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Attack the Core Issue, Not the Symptoms

Is your business facing a problem, any problem? Want to fix the cause of the issue instead of the symptoms?

It can be difficult to determine the root cause of any problem. This proves to be especially problematic if you want to prevent the same issues from repeating themselves in the future.

So how do you identify and attack the root issue as opposed to its symptoms? By conducting the age-old “Five-Why Process”.

The Five-Why process is so simple, you may even doubt its ability to work. However, conducting a Five-Why analysis can reveal some very important flaws in your business that you may have otherwise overlooked.

Here are the steps to conduct this analysis:

  1. Identify the issue
  2. Ask yourself: “Why is this happening?”
  3. Repeat step 2 four more times

Thats it! Simply identify the problem and ask yourself why this issue is occurring. This will reveal another, more deep rooted issue. Again, ask: “why is this issue is occurring?”. Repeating this process will reveal even more deeply rooted issues than you would otherwise see with general observation.

While the process seems simple, it can be quite powerful. What makes this process especially effective is that it reveals the path of where a problem originates from. And here is the especially interesting part: the problem often originates with management. The organizational culture, atmosphere, training processes or incentive pay structure are often some likely causes of various issues.

These are vital areas of your businesses that should be monitored and optimized whenever possible. Because this technique often traces back to key functions such as these, you will be able to identify the exact problem in these areas and fix it so it wont happen in the future.

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