The “5 Whys”​ and Current Events

If you stop asking why too soon, you’ll miss the root cause.

Protesters overtaking and burning the Minneapolis Police’s 3rd Precinct. Photo by Hungryogrephotos
In my industry we have a diagnostic tool called the “5 Whys”. It’s taken from Toyota because software developers like to pretend we’re in manufacturing.

The idea is that many problems have more than a single cause. If you treat the most obvious reason but miss the underlying system that led to the situation in question, everything’s going to break all over again.

A classic example would be a car not starting. Keep asking “why” until you get to the main cause.

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