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Friday, October 9, 2015

People Don't Fail, Processes Do

by Terry Smith

Lean isn’t only a mindset. It gives you and your organization tons of tools and techniques you can apply immediately to improve your business processes. One of my favorites is the 5 Whys. It’s the best demonstration I think of how in fact, people don’t fail, processes do.

In short, 5 Whys is a quick root-cause analysis. Sakichi Toyoda invented this approach in the Toyota Motor Corporation to analyze the defects in processes.

Here’s one way to use it. As soon as an issue happens, you gather a 5 Why-meeting with everyone who participated in the situation and the host asks five times, “Why did it happen?” The host takes down all the answers while the whole team brainstorms an issue. It lets to evaluate the problem from all angles and restore the full chain of events.

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