This simple but thorough five step process—the principals of which have been tested worldwide—is capable of guiding you to the root of nearly any problem. We're so confident in its effectiveness that we've considered offering a money back guarantee. Instead, [5xY], a tool for Critical Thinking Automation, is 100% free.
A sheet of paper
Blank or lined, it doesn't matter
A pen or pencil
Even a crayon will do
10 to 30 minutes
Focused quality time, please
At the top of the piece of paper write a description of the problem you want explore.
For example: The car will not start.*
* The example is provided as a reference point. Naturally, you should focus on the particular issue you are trying to resolve.
Why won't the car start?
Answer: The battery is dead.
Why is the battery dead?
Answer: The alternator is not functioning.
Why is the alternator busted?
Answer: The alternator belt was broken.
Why was the alternator belt broken?
Answer: The alternator belt was beyond its service life and had not replaced.
Why wasn't the alternator belt replaced?
Answer: The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule.
* IMPORTANT—Before continuing please review your answers to ensure they are complete and correct.
Your answer to the fifth and final why should have identified the true root of the problem.
To find out more about the concept behind [5xY] visit the 5 Whys page on Wikipedia.