TQM and 5 why method

5 Why is also a method used in Quality management. This method was first developed in Japan by Sakichi Toyoda, Toyota’s founder. Specifically, the method consists of asking why different times until the real cause of a problem is figured out. You can ask up to five times why, but asking two or three may be enough to figure out the issue if it is not that much complicated. At first glance, it seems to be a very simple method, however it is very efficient. Managers use it on a daily basis during meetings with employees, in order to figure out issues.

Moreover, 5 Why is a technique rather than a methodology. Thus, it is one of the techniques used in a Total Quality management program. It could be used to determine reasons for defects in a factory, or reasons for waste in a plant.

Example of application of 5 Why in a customer service department

Let’s assume a customer service receiving a lot of e-mails; many questions are not solved within 24 hours. The manager organizes a meeting with customer support members. He started the discussion with the following question: Why do we have so many open tickets not solved within 24 hours? The manager keeps asking why at different times and stops when he finds the reason. In this example, he stops after asking why three times, he found the root of the problem. The company decided to change the old server causing the problem.

Five why method in customer service department.

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