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Ideation is the creative process of generating new ideas, which can be accomplished through a variety of ideation techniques, such as brainstorming and prototyping. If done right, ideation is what helps founders and executives determine the right problem to solve and how to solve it.
Lauren Landry, Northeastern University
Five Whys Analysis
This technique was developed by Sakichi Toyoda, the founder of Toyota Industries, back in the 1930s. And Toyota still uses it to solve problems today. The technique is quite simple: when a problem occurs, you try to get to the root of the problem by asking «why?» five times. When a countermeasure or solution becomes apparent, follow it up to prevent the problem from recurring. You might get to the solution after the first «why», or it may need more than five «whys» to get to the cause of the issue. This technique is most effective when the answers come from people who have hands-on experience of the process or problem in question.
How to do this? Gather the people who are familiar with the problem or what you are trying to fix. Define the problem and write a brief with a clear problem statement. Ask the first «why?» (sounds simple, but it requiers some serious thought to answer it). Ask «why?» at least four more times, to get to the root of the problem. Agree on a counter-measure to prevent a recurring problem. Here is a example from mindtools.com that´s quite suitable for a designer agency: