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Discussion – Defining a Problem with the Five Whys Analysis

Problem-solving processes based on creative techniques have impeccable significance in this world of complexity. The solution to any problem and its implementation needs the allocation of diversified resources, including time and money. So, it is mandatory to define the problem before moving towards solution aspects, and for that purpose, root cause determination is decisive. In fact, the problem identification and problem-solving mechanism involve a step-by-step process. In this context, the Five Whys Analysis technique is very useful to identify the real root cause of any problem. However, the given material for this piece of writing revolves around Dead Zones. By using the Five Whys criteria, the following can be deduced to drill down the root cause of this stated problem.

Why have algae grown over the surface of the whole lake?

The main reason is the excessive accumulation of various nutrients.

Why have dead zones existed?

The death and expiry of various creatures, including fish are mainly responsible for dead zones.

Why more concentration is associated with those dead zones that are close to agriculture and industrial activities?

In these areas, the accumulated sewage is full of various substances, including fertilizers, phosphates, and nitrogenous materials. Hence the channelizing of such type of sewage is playing havoc on the lake.

Why living organisms and creatures are dying including fish?

They all are facing an acute shortage of oxygen and ultimately, death becomes their destiny,

Why does the water surface look waterless all over the lake?

Due to the massive presence of Algae, it looks waterless.

From the above-said analysis by using the Five Whys criteria, it can be concluded that the root cause of the dead zone problem is lacking the sophisticated waste management approach. The massive affluence of industrial and agricultural waste comprises toxic nutrients which ultimately enrich water bodies. Their severe action leads to eutrophication that eventually creates dead zones.

Discuss the strengths or weaknesses of the FIVE Whys Analysis

Weaknesses of the FIVE Whys Analysis:

The advancement of knowledge has bestowed humanity with multiple techniques and procedures to identify and solve problems worldwide. Similarly, the Five Whys Analysis technique has peculiar significance in resolving ongoing issues with a scientific approach. With numerous advantages, this technique accompanies multiple limitations and weaknesses which retard its applicability and efficiency. It is pertinent to mention that these weaknesses have grim and solid perspectives that leave lasting imprints. The foremost weakness of this technique is stopping researchers from identifying symptoms of the problem only. This method allows the person to identify the root cause of any problem but does not provide any framework to resolve the issue. Similarly, this approach is primarily dependent and limited to the knowledge of the investigator. There is no structure and platform to act beyond the knowledge of the researcher. The whole fabric of any problem can be seen from the eye of any interrogator. Rather this technique advent new dimensions to probe multiple horizons. In this way, another weakness is not the diversification needed to resolve complex problems. For example, the right ‘Why’ questions may not be included while probing into the root cause as the knowledge background of the investigator may not allow him to adopt a multi-dimensional approach.

Moreover, the results deduced by applying this technique do not repeat the results of the same problem. Different people may find different root causes of the same problem. This will lead to isolating a single root cause from the perspective of one person. In this way, this analysis approach does not look perfect. Instead, it leads to severe drawbacks in the case of complex problems. In addition, this technique is not able to prioritize the root causes of the same problem deduced by multiple investigators at the final stage. Hence, this analysis approach needs improvements accordingly for better results.



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