The “5 why” framework from Toyota encourages us to keep asking why until we get to the root cause. Their insight was that it typically takes us 5 consecutive why questions to get to the root cause.
I forgot a jacket when leaving home for a short trip recently.
I spent half an hour searching desperately for a key that, in fact, was right in front of me… and forgot about my jacket.
I packed last minute.
I normally do it fine but this time I was tired and off my game.
I was sleep deprived.
It’s tempting to stop here. 5 whys have already helped make progress. “Sleep matters” is a good learning.
But what if we pushed further?
Why did being sleep deprived affect my ability to pack?
I was trying to remember my packing list instead of using a checklist.
That gets to the system insight that will actually prevent this the next time we travel.