I see this with product people a lot, somebody comes to them with a request for a feature, and they want to make sure they don’t just accept the request and go build it. They want to understand what’s going on behind it. So they ask why, and often they’re surprised to find out that people get defensive when they ask why. We want to do something that signals curiosity instead of blame or accusation, and the best way to do that is to ask a different kind of question.
In this episode, Richard and Peter dig into the popular “5 Whys” root cause analysis technique, including the limitations of the technique and why the question “why?’ can get you in trouble.