Three Breaths

Musings on code, management, and life

The Five Whys

Posted at — Feb 5, 2010

I have recently been pointed to a great blog called Startup Lessons Learned. There are some great posts on product development, Agile practices, hiring practices and tips, and TDD, some of which have made me rethink how I go about my day and the practices I employ. I highly recommend giving it a look.

There were a couple of posts on a practice called the Five Whys, which comes out of Taiichi Ohno’s book Toyota Production System. The first post is about the Five Whys and what they are meant to accomplish, and the second is on how to actually run a Five Why’s analysis meeting.

I am very eager to start applying this technique. I am fortunate enough to be working on a really great team that has the maturity to avoid turning the five whys into a blame game. I am sure it will take some practice, but I am interested to see what comes out of it. If anyone has used this technique and has advice or stories to share I would like to hear them.

I’ll let you know how it goes.

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