The 5W2H method is considered to be one of the most effective quality management tools as it is easy and simple to use. This approach is no more than a skillful, organized, analytical and practical plan of action that has different stages until you reach the conclusion. In a productive and remarkably competitive business world, both practical activities and organized communications need to be rapid and nimble because many issues can arise if the transmitted information has errors. This is why this method was invented to make the information secure and error free.

Concept of 5W2H Method

It is factual that ideas solely become valid from the instant they’re written on paper, and 5W2H analysis may be a tool designed to prepare them in an innate and operational means through the utilization of a list. The name 5W2H may seem complex and intricate, but its concept is really interesting. It involves 5 W’s and 2 H’s that are:

  • When?
  • Where?
  • Who?
  • Why?
  • What?
  • How?
  • How many?

How 5W2H Method Can Be Used for Problem Solving

Problem solving is the method for solving complex and difficult problems through proper techniques and documentation. In fact it is a though process and a thorough of analysis of how the particular problem came into existence 5W2H is used. This approach is not only useful for large business organization but can also be used for individual problems.

Ideas alone are of no importance until they are turned into practical actions. 5W2h method is of great use when brainstorming is required for any action plan or problem solving. It is somewhat similar to the divide and conquer approach. The problem is segmented into different parts that make it easier to solve it. Firstly, you need to find answers for following questions and you are good to go.

  • What needs to be done?
  • Why it should be done?
  • When to do?
  • Where it should be done?
  • Who will do?
  • How to do it?
  • How much budget is required to do it?


This question requires the complete description of problem and what needs to be done. It analyzes the whole situation and evaluates if the measurements are accurate or not.


It comprises of all the possible reasons to the particular issue.


It’s a vital thought to understand once the difficulty is prevailing. Analyzing the frequency of the matter and time of incidence will assist you to create higher precautions.


It assists in knowing the placement of the defect and helps to examine the geographic distribution of client complaints.


It identifies the causes related to the matter. It can be personnel or the processes. It characterizes the purchasers who have complaints and determines the operators who are making difficulties.


It is necessary to investigate the kind of scenario and also the mode of a difficulty. Examine the procedures that you’re using for problem-solving in order to answer this question.

How much?

It requires finding out the budget available or required for problem solving.

Advantages of 5W2H Method

5W2H method is of great importance in process management and improvement such as:

  • As mentioned earlier, 5W2H approach is more simple yet efficient technique in problem solving than other quality management tools.
  • By using this methodology many problems that are associated with the main problem can also be unearthed.
  • Generally, no statistical data is required to carry out the process.
  • This tool also helps in root cause analysis along with problem solving. Therefore, unlike other process management tools, 5W2H method is a complete and dynamic tool.

I you are interested in learning how to use 5W2H during problem solving our 8D Problem Solving Training might be of interest to you. Please feel free to contact us for a quote.