Skill level: Basic
The five hows is a questioning process for drilling down into the details of a potential solution to a known problem. It is designed to bring clarity and refinement to a solution and arrive the root solution (best solution).
Quickly drills down to the desired solution
Does not require special skills or a computer
Fosters teamwork by using brainstorming method
Forces teams to expand their horizons in the search for solutions and a more detailed understanding of potential solutions
How to Use
- Step 1. Draw a box at the top of a flip chart and clearly identify the solution to be explored.
- Step 2. Below the statement box, draw five lines in descending order.
Step 3. Ask the “how” question five times and write the answers on the lines drawn from numbers one to five.
- *Note: It may take fewer than five questions to get to the bottom of the solution.*
Brainstorming: A group activity used to pull quantitative data/information from participants.
A service community for elderly people wishes to promote more exercise to residents. A team conducts a brainstorming session on how to achieve more vigorous daily exercise.
The potential solution is the following:
Solution: Residents in the assisted community need more vigorous exercises on a daily basis
- How?: Less TV and card playing
- How?: More community sponsored physical activities programs
- How?: More in-house motivators and trainers
- How?: Add additional resources
- How?: Vote a special budget to finance the program
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