The 5 Whys
September 04, 2018 12:08 pm
This is just a quick video about finding the root cause.
Have you ever had these problems that just keep coming up. We’re busy as business owners, we’ve got a lot on our plates a lot of the time and without fixing the root cause these issues just keep coming up. Your fixing the same fires again and again. So this is a solution I’ve been using in my personal life and also my business which has being killer first and it’s been really helpful. So, I know it’s going to be helpful to you too.
I didn’t invent it, The 5 Whys, I think it’s from the corporate world, maybe Six Sigma or something like that but ultimately it’s really helpful.
We find that looking at your business in a way of fixing the constraints, fixing the bottlenecks and going into the biggest bottleneck first, fixing that, making that better. Then the next one, increases the output of the business and that’s what we never have to stop doing.
Think about it in that light, fixing these issues that come up, which are bottlenecks, using these 5 Whys tool to find out the root cause of it is going to be really helpful so you can actually prevent that issue from coming up again by fixing the root cause instead of just putting out the fire. You’re actually going to fix it so it’s not going to happen again.
Really helpful, try it in your own life, try it in your personal life it works for every area. I’m going to run a quick example for you on how you could use it. If you want this PDF then just drop your comments in the box below or reach out to us and we will be happy to send it to you as a tool you can use in your business and your personal life.
Finding the root cause – this ultimately is so we can fix the bottlenecks just like I said, improve the bottlenecks. The speed of the business is depending on the weakest link. If we can fix the weakest link, improve the output of that bottleneck, the business will speed up or the output of the business will increase.
Let’s get started with this 5 Whys diagram. In the example, we are going to start with the issue in the top box.
My listing has gone down – This is a right pain for any person selling on Amazon or any platform that you sell on. That’s the problem, this could happen a number of times, it’s happened to me over the years.
Why did this happen? – There was a violation of a certain keyword in the listing. Why was there a violation of a certain keyword? It’s because there was no pre-check and this is just an example. You have to be like an investigator, you are going back to the root cause.
There is no pre-check done when the listing was created. When the listing was created by the team or the person that did it there was no list of keywords that they were not supposed to include which caused to flag in Amazon.
Why wasn’t there no pre-check done? – The reason was because the person that set the listing up didn’t use SOP. In that case they’ve missed the keyword which is not allowed. It could have been like a word which mentioned, it could have been a health product, something that is very sensitive. It could have referred to something that release anxiety or something about cancer or something like that and it just flagged.
In this case they didn’t use SOP for checking. Why didn’t they? – It is because in this example, the team member didn’t know where to find the SOP.
Why? – There is no clear way to locate the SOP. There could be a training issue, in this example. The team member actually building a listing or somebody that you outsourced that listing creation to, you didn’t give them a procedure or guideline for the keywords that they are not allowed to have in there. Or, they just could not find it. They just didn’t know where to look.
There was no clear way to locate the SOP and all of that is the root cause of why the listings gone down. How can you prevent that from happening in the future? This is where we are going to write on the System Improvement part.
In this example, we could say:
Step 1. Attach the Standard Operating Procedure (SOP), which is the written procedure of exactly how to write the listing. Attach the SOP to the Asana task or whatever project management software you use, Trello, Click Up or Basecamp.
Whatever you use attach the SOP to the actual task. So next time you come to run that task or a new listing, if you have a master project in Asana or Trello, for listing creation the SOP will be attached so they know how to do it. They must follow exactly step-by-step so they would know what not to include and to avoid this from happening in the future. That could be an example of a system improvement.
You could say, ‘I know that there is a bunch of listings that have not been checked.’ So what systems of improvement that an action step that we can take now to prevent this from happening across the other listings.
Step 2. Go through and check current listings. You can say, ‘We are going to go through every listing and you can check to make sure that you don’t any keywords that you are not allowed to have.’ If that is an action step so somebody from your team or you can go to do that to prevent the listings from being taken down.
So, that is a very simple way of how you can use the 5 Whys to find the root cause to fix an ongoing problem that just keeps coming up again and again. There is nothing more annoying than that.
If this came up, let’s say this cost you $20,000 for your listing in terms of sales that is a lot of money if it happens 5x a year. What is more annoying is the momentum that is lost and probably the rankings and the traction that you did have in the marketplace, which is hard to examine the opportunity cost of that.
Here is an example of how you can use this. It should have been super clear, super easy to understand, if it wasn’t let me know, I’m happy to help out. If you want this PDF just add a comment into the box, a Facebook comment, or you can reach to us if you see this somewhere else, on our blog and we will be sure to give it to you in no problem whatsoever.
The 5 Whys, this is to fix the constraints, fix the bottlenecks in your business and ultimately the speed, the output of the business. The success of the business is determined by the biggest bottlenecks. If we can go to each bottleneck and fix and alleviate and lift the load of that bottleneck by creating systems, procedures, adding team members in. Whatever the bottleneck is that’s going to enable the business to continue to grow and reach the next level of capacity and then we do it again and go to the next bottleneck and so forth.
I hope that makes sense, Aaron here, thanks for watching. Any questions, please do let me know. Bye now!
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