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“If you don’t ask the right questions, you don’t get the right answers.” – Edward Hodnett

How many times did you see that the actual outcome didn’t meet the requirements?
And how many times was this caused by a different understanding of the initial question?

Another example which keeps on surprising me. A lot of departments within a company are busy on a day by day base putting out fires. Wouldn’t it be more efficient to go to the root cause and solve it, so it doesn’t happen again?

There is a quite simple solutions for this and we are all already highly experienced in this technique. We did it a lot when we were 3 years old.

Continuously asking: Why?

To keep it practically and according to the theory* this should be limited to around 5 times. (Would be nice if children would do the same……)

By repeatedly asking the question “Why”, you can peel away the layers of symptoms which can lead to the root cause of a problem. This helps to take appropriate action.
Next to this, the technique also helps to fully understand a question and the questions behind the question. This helps to deliver what meets or exceeds the requirements.

We love this technique and use it as a tool in all our services. What is your opinion about this technique and do you already use it?

*Analyze phase of the Six Sigma DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, Control) methodology.