The 5W + 2H = 5W2H

"A problem well stated is a problem half solved." Charles F. Kettering

A quick and simple tool to use in defining a problem is the "5W2H" approach.

The W's (5W)

  • Who? à Who is the customer?
  • What? à What is the customer experiencing?
  • When? à When did the problem arise?
  • Where? à Where is the problem occurring?
  • Why? à Potential causes or reasons (preliminary)

The H's (2H)

  • How? à Mode or situation of occurrence
  • How Many? à Quantify the problem

A problem solving team's success is heavily influenced by first clearly knowing what a problem is.