The 5 Why’s methods: Mapping Activities and Streamlining Processes

Have you heard about the 5 Why’s methods?

The excerpt below, taken from an IT specialist site and written by the Business Process Standardization and IT consultant, Marcelo Correa.

He explains what constitutes the 5 Why’s methodology and talks about how its use can optimize the performance of activities, increasing communication between the various sectors of a company, avoiding losses and working more clearly, eliminating the emergence of doubts during the stages of the processes carried out.

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“The 5 Why’s methodology is basically a checklist of certain activities that need to be developed with as much clarity as possible for the employees of a particular company.
They work by mapping activities, to establish what will be done, who will do what, whenwhere in the company and all of the reasons why the activity should be done. In a second step, there must be an explanation as to how this activity will happen and how much it will cost the company.
These tools are extremely useful for businesses as they completely eliminate any doubt that may arise about a process or activity. In an agile and competitive environment as is the corporate environment, doubts can be erased and activities to be undertaken by employees of different sectors can be streamlined. After all, an error in the communication or transmission of information can cause a lot of damage to a business, so we must be attentive to these critical issues, the 5Why’s methods are excellent in this regard!”

Have a look at other process mapping techniques


Why use the 5 Why’s methodology?

You can use the 5 Why’s methodology for the organization of information, presentation of results or the preparation of action plans. The most common of the 5W’s methods is the 5W2H method, it stands for seven different words:

  • What?
  • Why?
  • Who?
  • Where?
  • When? (According to a schedule)
  • How?
  • How much? (According to a budget)

Note, the 5W’s methods include two further classifications, the 5W1H method which excludes the “H” representing “How much?” and the latest 5W3H method which includes another “H” related to “How to measure it?” (such as targets, indicators and KPI’s).

The 5W2H methodology

5 Why’s

  • What? What will be done? (Project / stages / steps / activities)
  • Who? Who will do it? (Roles / Responsibilities / areas)
  • Where? Where will it be done? (Logically / physically)
  • When? When will it be done? (Time and deadlines/start and end)
  • Why? Why should it be done? (Justification / needs)


  • How? How will it be done? (Means / procedures / techniques used)
  • How much? How much to get it done? (Costs / expenses)

For more information on process mapping methodology check this out

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