Quality Digest’s picture

By Quality Digest

Why, Why, Why, Why, Why

I agree with Craig Cochran that complex problems are difficult to solve or tackle using the 5 Whys method (“Don’t Fail Your Customers With the Five Whys,” February 2009). Companies and consultants have a tendency to want to use the 5 Whys method as a pill for all illnesses.

Another problem with the 5 Whys method is that by the time you get to the fifth why, the root cause of a problem inevitably ends up being something along the lines of “the employee causing the error is not motivated.”

There are, however, a lot of cases where the 5 Whys method has worked nicely. Normally it’s with simpler or straight- forward situations, or where there’s supporting data for the problem-solving team to explore during the 5 Whys process. I have seen instances where after a lot of complicated Six Sigma or failure mode analysis, problems were never solved. When we applied the 5 Whys correctly and, in a brutally honest way, we got to the bottom of the issue in no time.

--Paolo Chiappina

 

Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest’s picture

By Dirk Dusharme @ Quality Digest

You might notice that the copy of Quality Digest you’re holding in your hand is a little light. You’ve been telling us for years that we had too many advertising pages, so we delivered with fewer pesky ads to interrupt your reading pleasure. Is that customer service or what? Of course, we didn’t plan it that way.

As to why we’re skinny this month, our “Quality Curmudgeon” Scott Paton has analyzed the woes facing the publishing industry in his column, so I won’t do that here. Just flip to his column at the end of the magazine (which is much closer than it used to be) when you’re done here.

Obviously the print news industry, including trade publications, is quickly changing. Fortunately for us we have seen it coming and have been improving our online presence and adding exclusive content.

In case you haven’t been to our web site recently, here’s a brief overview of what’s available:

The key feature is the addition of video. We both produce our own content and solicit content from others. The site currently hosts 50 videos, with about two videos being added each week. The most popular videos have been our Technorazzi and Viewpoint series.