The most power, befuddling and frustrating question a person can ask or be asked. From a very young age, we use ‘why’ as a tool to understand and sometimes frustrate those giving us instruction or explaining things to us. A child can freeze and frustrate a parent’s actions by asking the simple question ‘why’. As we grow older, we still use ‘why’ as a tool to either legitimately gain clarity or to frustrate or stop another person dead in their tracks. No matter what the context or motivate, in whatever situation in life, we have learned that ‘why’ is the most powerful tool at our disposal.
The power of ‘why” seamlessly transitions into one of the key elements of the Six Sigma process. It is a technique used in the DMAIC process, during the ‘analyze’ phase. In the process, we use the question ‘why’ five (5) times when trying to analyze or understand process. This interrogative technique is one of the most valuable tools available to a Black Belt in the DMAIC process. Asking the question ‘why’ in any given situation allows the problem to be peeled like an onion. Each time we ask ‘why’, we peel back another layer and get closer to the understanding we seek during the process. Sometimes, at the end of the day, there is sound logic behind the process and we can simply accept that position as useful. However, more times than not, the question ‘why’ peels back layers that expose no justification or logic. “We have always done it that way,” or “It’s done that way for benefit of the customer, client or employee.” That is where the true effectiveness of DMAIC and Six Sigma can start to make true change in an organization.
Most people fear the question ‘why’ in an analytical situation. In reality, the question ‘why” can open doors and usher in powerful change across the spectrum of a business. A qualified and well trained 6Sigma.us Black Belt can use the question ‘why’ as a powerful tool to get results that bring a wave of refreshing change! Do not fear the why: it is a powerful business asset.