Publication Date

2-2009

Abstract

{Excerpt} When confronted with a problem, have you ever stopped and asked “why” five times? If you do not ask the right question, you will not get the right answer. The Five Whys is a simple question asking technique that explores the cause-and-effect relationships underlying problems.

For every effect there is a cause. But the results chain between the two is fairly long and becomes finer as one moves from inputs to activities, outputs, outcome, and impact. In results-based management, the degree of control one enjoys decreases higher up the chain and the challenge of monitoring and evaluating correspondingly increases. In due course, when a problem appears, the temptation is strong to blame others or external events. Yet, the root cause of problems often lies closer to home.

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Suggested Citation

Serrat, O. (2010). The five ways technique. Washington, DC: Asian Development Bank.

Required Publisher's Statement

This article was first published by the Asian Development Bank (www.adb.org)

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