October 23, 2009 | Mark Paradies

More Bad Root Cause Analysis Advice – Another bad article…

Aza Badureen has posted bad root cause analysis advice on a blog about Lean.

What is the bad root cause analysis advice?

That 5 Whys is a “simple but effective lean tool“.

The good part of the article is that he does cover some of the drawback of 5 Whys.

But he does so by saying things like …

root cause critics … claim

purported to be one of the downfalls

And he never really addresses how the “claimed” problems can be overcome besides being “used correctly.”

Once again, another consultant leaves the impression that 5 Whys is an adequate tool.

Once again, the evidence of the 5 Why tool’s usefulness is that Toyota uses it. Could it be that Toyota is successful IN SPITE OF using 5 Whys? Could it be that the lack of advanced root cause analysis by other automakers allows Toyota to get by with a poor technique?

Once again, if you doubt the embedded drawbacks of 5 Whys, read some of our previous posts and the Q&A that follows. See:








I know that my criticism of 5 Whys is getting repetitious. I’m sorry.

I hope that I can someday stop writing about the drawbacks of 5 Whys because people start to see the inherent problems with the technique. Then they will stop writing that 5 Whys is an effective tool.

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