Step 1 – Situation Analysis

Why-Why Diagrams
The purpose of Why-Why Diagrams are to enable individuals and groups to creatively explore and consider numerous causes of a problem (or needs for an opportunity). They help individuals achieve divergent thinking (Barra 1983).

The steps of a Why-Why Diagram:   
Develop a problem statement or Focus Explore possible causes of the problem (or reasons for addressing an opportunity) by asking “Why?” For each possible cause (or reason) again explore possible causes for this lower level problem by asking “Why? (the answers to the questions “Why” are the causes of the problem)

Below is an example of a Why-Why Diagram developed to analyse low operating profit (since each step is a divergent process, a convergent process is required to determine which of the causes are important).

Poor Materials

Poor Produce Quality

Poor Design

Poor Worksmanship

Poor Process Control

Problem Low Operating Profit Why? Poor Process Yields Poor Test Procedures

Poor Hanlding Methods


High Costs

Non-standardized Designs

High Inventory

Beef Profit Partnerships

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