"Why, why, why, why, why?": Solution generation technique

creativity methods
Reflections and drafts

The "5 whys" technique is suitable for both thinking of ideas and describing the user's wishes. Can be used both in a team and alone.

Here's how it works:

  1. In the beginning - you have problem X. Let's say "the logistics department is late with the shipments" or the user says he "doesn't like this design". You can write the problem down or just keep it in your mind.
  2. Ask: why?
  3. Write the answer down or keep it in your mind. Maybe you'll hear, say, "there's a delay because there aren't any empty post machines" and "something's the wrong color."
  4. Ask again: why?
  5. Write the answer down again or keep it in your mind. You may hear that "customers have no other delivery options" and "too childish colors, you want something more serious". As you can see, it pays to take notes because it can become difficult to keep everything in your mind. But it is not necessary to write.
  6. If you feel like you haven't found the real cause of the problem yet, ask "why" and again. Repeat until you feel you have found the answer.

It is typically recommended to repeat this cycle at least 5 times, 1 but it is not necessary. It is possible to continue both shorter and longer.

I warn you that the method has a limitation: success depends on the respondents' ability to think, evaluate, and see the problem. If your team or user doesn't dig deeper, doesn't have the desire and time to answer, their answers may sound like "I don't know" or "that's bad".

So - tell the answerers to take their time, spend at least 15 minutes on this game (3 minutes for each question) to think and come up with the truth.

The following may be useful for exercise Miro and mural templates. But it is not necessary to use them.

  1. That is why the technique is called the "5 Whys" method.

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