The problem

What is this for?

Use this method if the problem seems to be too overwhelming or abstract. The method helps you to understand different parts of the problem and to find the actual root cause.


Write the main problem at the top. Then, ask “why” and write three different answers on separate columns. Then try to break these 3 “whys” into even smaller pieces by asking “why” again and again.

This helps you to break down the problem into smaller pieces and allows you to search for solutions for the right cause. You can stop asking “why” at any point when you feel like you have found small enough problem, or the root cause of the problem, and start solving it.

Note: Problem statement does not start with “how”.
Wrong: How might we change the direction of our company?
Correct: Our company is going in the wrong direction.