Problem Solving Tools

One of the greatest life skills you can have as a child, or an adult, is the ability to problem solve. Yet, nowhere is it taught. It either comes naturally (but not for many people), or they have to learn it. At Simply Business, in conjunction with Mindshop we will teach you ‘How to Problem Solve.’

We will do this by teaching you a group of Problem Solving Tools including;

  • Magic Wand
  • One Page Plan
  • 5 Whys
  • Force Field Analysis
  • Decision Matrix

The following is an example of the ‘5 Whys Technique’ on an issue. Five Whys is designed to find the root cause of the problem, not the symptoms of a problem.

When you have found the root cause you can apply a tool such as the Force Field analysis to find the solution.

Ask yourself ‘Why?’ five times when confronted with a problem. By the time the fifth why is answered, it is believed you should have found the ultimate cause of the problem.

Although this tool is called the Five Whys use it as a guide. Sometimes it may take one question more or even one question less to get to the root cause.


The vehicle will not start (The problem)

  1. Why? - The battery is dead (first why)
  2. Why? - The alternator is not functioning (second why)
  3. Why? - The alternator belt has broken (third why)
  4. Why? - The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced (fourth why)
  5. Why? - The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule (fifth why, a root cause)
  6. Why? - Replacement parts are not available because of the extreme age of the vehicle (sixth why, optional footnote)


  • Start maintaining the vehicle according to the recommended service schedule (possible fifth why solution)
  • Purchase a different vehicle that is maintainable (possible sixth why solution)

Use this tool regularly and teach your family as it is an extremely powerful tool.

If you would like to receive an electronic copy of our Basic Problem Solving Tools, please join our Business Improvement Club. Membership at this point is free of charge, and once you become a member you will be able to locate the file in our Tool Shed.

Should you have any queries, please don’t hesitate to contact us by clicking here.