The 5W2H method is one of the most efficient management tools that exists and, oddly enough, one of the most simple and easy to apply. The 5W2H approach is nothing more than a qualified, structured and practical plan of action, with well-defined stages.
In a dynamic and extremely competitive universe such as business, both operational activities as well as corporate communications need to be fast and agile, errors in the transmission of certain information can generate many losses.
And it is for precisely this reason that the 5W2H method was created, to ensure that losses do not occur. It completely clarifies all possible questions that may arise about any business processes involved in a company.
How did the 5W2H method earn its name?
At first, it might seem complicated, but it’s precisely the opposite. It is called the 5W2H method or approach to simplify the guidelines involved in each action phase of the plan to which it proposes. Check the table below for a brief explanation of each, in the order that they should be analyzed:
|What?||What will be done? Action steps, description.|
|Why?||Why will it be done? Justification, reason.|
|Where?||Where will it be done? Location, area.|
|When?||When will it be done? Time, dates, deadlines.|
|Who?||Who will do it? Who’s responsible for it?|
|How?||How will it be done? Method, process.|
|How much?||What will it cost to make? Costs or expenses involved.|
As you may have noticed, every step of the 5W2H approach refers to a different question, and the answer to each question is the trigger for the next question. Isn’t it perfect?!
It is, in short, an effective management tool which, due to its simplicity, can be used by small, medium and large companies wishing to register in an orderly and systematic way its workflows and actions, from simply scheduling meetings to more complex project implementations.
See how to use the 5W2H method properly
For the correct application of the 5W2H method, before beginning, a manager needs to consider a strategic plan of previously prepared answers to the problems they want to solve.
If necessary, this can be done by asking for help from employees and other collaborators who are directly or indirectly involved in the work team, through activities such as brainstorming, for example.
But it’s necessary to keep in mind these three key topics:
- The spectrum of actions must always be related to the cause of problems, and not the possible effects they have caused. In other words, seek to create lasting rather than palliative solutions.
- The solutions implemented by the 5W2H method should be as objective as possible, avoiding side effects that may require new actions to suppress them.
- Never settle for the first good idea: Propose various approaches to the different situations analyzed, thereby increasing options and scope of action.
Have you ever heard of BPM technology? Business Process Management tools greatly facilitate the application of the 5W2H method and offer several additional features that benefit and improve business processes.