I recently heard a discussion on the radio about how Toyota use the “5 Why’s” to get to the root cause of issues in their factories. It got me thinking if we can use the 5 why’s for financial issues?
In the blog about digging a deeper hole, we could ask: Why are we spending so much? – we eat out too much. Why do we eat out too much? – We don’t have time to prepare food. Why do we not have time to prepare food? – we come back too late from work. Why do we come back too late from work? – we are catching up on email before the end of the day. Why are we catching up with email? – We leave too late in the morning.
Root cause – we leave too late in the morning, putting us in a situation that drives us towards eating out. Therefore if we can adapt to leave earlier, we could come home earlier and prepare dinner!
This was a hypothetical situation, but try it on a problem you have. The root cause may be not what you expected!