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For this assignment, think about the basic problem you are trying to solve with your W/CBT Module (Performance Gap: Reduction on the number of clients in 2018 as compared to 2017). Use the 5 Whys Worksheet, and drill down further into your problem to help you identify the root cause(s).Don’t just list 5 separate reasons for your problem. Each answer should only refer to the question and item above it.Your answer cannot be because of a person. It can be because of policy or a procedure implemented by a person, but not about the person themselves (not “It’s because Joe makes bad decisions”).It’s possible you may have to ask more than 5 questions, or it’s possible you could find your answer in 4 questions. Try to drill down to 5 answers. There may be multiple root causes for the problem. See the industrial example in Scrap loss reduction using the 5-whys analysis.You may need to do a Pareto Chart ( to determine which root cause(s) are causing the majority of the problem and/or are the most critical or cost-effective to solve. For this exercise, just determine one root cause of the problem (preferably, the one that you will solve with the W/CBT Module).Attached is the file for the Performance Gap: Reduction on the number of clients in 2018 as compared to 2017The challenging part will be to narrow the scope of the gap by focusing on a specific set of marketing skills or a specific employee group. Are we talking front-facing employees? Management?Looking forward to seeing you develop your course project.Also attached below is the 5 ways worksheet it is in pdf format change from pdf format to word format.


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1.6 – W/CBT Module Assignment 1: Identify a Performance Gap
Michael R. Walker
Embry Riddle
Performance Gap: Reduction on the number of clients in 2018 as compared to 2017
Our airline company operates flights within and outside the United States. Currently, the
airline company has been experiencing some reduction in the number of customers that they used
to handle as compared to the previous years. According to “OpenFlights: Airport and airline
data,” 2019, the company had 25,000 customers fewer customers in 2017 than in 2018. The
reduction can be associated to the increased number of airline companies hence the need to train
our personnel on how to advance on marketing skills among other strategies, to reach a broad
market consequently leading to an increased number of customers. The performance gap
identified and the need for training falls under the psychomotor domain of learning. This is
because psychomotor learning domain is a realm that is concerned with physical information. In
this case, the domain focuses on data from airline companies. As Moreno et al. (2012) suggested,
the trained personnel need to utilize the skills and strategies acquired to provide a positive
response to the identified problem.
Moreno, O., Shapira, B., Rokach, L., & Shani, G. (2012). Talmud: transfer learning for multiple
domains. In Proceedings of the 21st ACM international conference on Information and
knowledge management (pp. 425-434). ACM.
OpenFlights: Airport and airline data. (2019). Retrieved from
The Five Whys Worksheet
Describe the problem or performance gap:
Why is it happening?
Why is that?
Why is that?
Why is that?
Why is that?
Remember: Don’t list 5 separate reasons for the problem. Each answer
should only refer to the question above it.
The current issue and full text archive of this journal is available at
Scrap loss reduction using the
5-whys analysis
Scrap loss
Uthiyakumar Murugaiah
OpEx Engineering Consultancy, Selangor, Malaysia, and
Samuel Jebaraj Benjamin, M. Srikamaladevi Marathamuthu and
Saravanan Muthaiyah
Faculty of Management, Multimedia University, Selangor, Malaysia
Received January 2009
Revised October 2009
Accepted November 2009
Purpose – This paper seeks to document an approach to reduce scrap losses using the root cause
analysis technique in a lean manufacturing environment.
Design/methodology/approach – The study uses lean manufacturing root cause problem solving
(RCPS) technique. The study starts with the collection phase, followed by the analysis phase and ends
with the solution phase. Supporting data are presented using a Pareto chart to prioritise wastage in
order to be more focused for improvement. The Toyota Production System’s 5-whys analysis is
performed to analyse the cause of wastages, to formulate and implement corrective actions.
Findings – The application of the 5-whys analysis in a manufacturing industry (XYZ Corporation)
provides a fact-based and structured approach to problem identification and correction that not only
reduces, but also totally eliminates defects. Corrective action has permanently eliminated the top
defect, which is the “last piece material scratch” and this results in zero scrap thereafter. In this study it
was also proven that with sound understanding of manufacturing coupled with possible solutions
using the 5-whys analysis the authors were not only able to eliminate waste, but also to do it with
Originality/value – The approach documented in the paper can be extended to other areas in the
manufacturing industry to help improve overall equipment efficiency, breakdown, time loss, customer
complaints, etc.
Keywords Lean production, Error analysis, Pareto analysis, Quality, Scrap rates/improvement
Paper type Research paper
1. Introduction
Lean manufacturing philosophy is at the forefront in today’s operations management
and quality improvement practices. It is characterised by its goal of maximising
productivity (Brown et al., 2008). Its primary focus is to minimise wastage, reduce
variation in standards and to improve production quality (Nave, 2002). It also reduces
cycle time, increases flexibility, and improves productivity (Hobbs, 2004). Essentially,
knowledge is distributed in lean manufacturing because reduction in waste is regarded
as common responsibility for all employees in the organisation. It covers aspects of
just-in-time (JIT) (Brown et al., 2008; Zhu and Meredith, 1995), workflow management,
culture of minimum waste as well as continuous improvement. The driving force of lean
manufacturing is the process of continuous improvement through the elimination of
waste or non-value adding activities (Burton and Boeder, 2003). Eight types of waste
categories that include defects were introduced in Burton’s study. The scope of defects
encompasses generating scrap, rework or paperwork errors. The thrust to eliminate
International Journal of Quality &
Reliability Management
Vol. 27 No. 5, 2010
pp. 527-540
q Emerald Group Publishing Limited
DOI 10.1108/02656711011043517
waste especially defects is therefore at the heart of lean manufacturing; described by
(Womack and Jones, 1996) as one of his five principles of lean manufacturing’s
philosophy, namely the fifth principle, which requires companies to strive for perfection
by constantly removing layers of waste. In order to eliminate wastage problems or scrap
losses, one must first recognise the root cause of the problem and attempt to solve the
problem in a systematic way. In this regard root cause problem solving (RCPS) can be
considered as a structured problem solving approach using simple standardised tools to
identify and resolve critical problems encountered in manufacturing operations. The use
of this approach leads to the improved factory efficiency, improved quality, lower scrap,
superior customer service, and an improved work environment. Professionals often use
RCPS to solve quality problems. RCPS analysis tools commonly used are
cause-and-effect (CED) diagram, interrelationship diagram (ID), current reality tree
(CRT) (Ishikawa, 1982; Mizuno, 1988; Goldratt, 1994; Doggett, 2005) and the 5-whys
analysis (Pylipow and Royall, 2001; Nelsen, 2003; Pinsky, 2003).
RCPS is a four-step process involving data collection, causal factor charting, root
cause identification and recommendation generation and implementation (Rooney and
Vanden Heuvel, 2004). The root cause failure analysis (RCFA), which is similar to the
RCPS begins with the collection phase, followed by the analysis phase and ends with
the solution phase (Ransom, 2008). This study has applied all the steps of RCPS to
arrive at the solution obtained consequently.
Quality professionals naturally implement root cause analysis with corrective actions
as remedial actions when faced with manufacturing problems in world-class organisations
(Pylipow and Royall, 2001). The 5-why analysis is commonly used in lean manufacturing.
In essence lean manufacturing is an extension of the ideas of JIT. Taiichi Ohno the father of
Toyota Production System (TPS) was an avid proponent of the 5-whys analysis tool of root
cause problem solving (Alukal, 2007). The 5-whys analysis emerged as a result of Taiichi
Ohno’s observation in his days in Toyota that when mistakes happen in the production or
manufacturing environment people would always blame one another. He realised that
mistakes are inevitable and the best approach towards mistakes is to identify the root
causes of the mistakes and act upon it (Ohno, 1988). His favourite tool to resolve problems
at the manufacturing floor is the 5-whys analysis. Ohno’s (1988) infamous example for
illustrating his 5-whys analysis is as follows:
Question 1: Why did the robot stop?
Answer: The circuit is overloaded, causing a fuse to blow.
Question 2: Why is the circuit overloaded?
Answer: There was insufficient lubrication on the bearings, so they locked up.
Question 3: Why was there insufficient lubrication on the bearings?
Answer: The oil pump on the robot is not circulating sufficient oil.
Question 4: Why is the pump not circulating sufficient oil?
Answer: The pump intake is clogged with metal shavings.
Question 5: Why is the intake clogged with metal shavings?
Answer: Because there is no filter on the pump.
The solution action for the scenario above (Ohno, 1988), would be to install the filter on
the pump. However, in practice, the answer to all manufacturing related problems are
not always simple, straightforward and self-explanatory as Ohno’s example above.
Correctly performed 5-whys analysis usually has a lot of depth and breadth. Indeed
real root causes are normally deep and corrective actions at those deep levels are
broadly based and long lasting. This is why a truly well performed 5-whys analysis is
based on corrective action and could actually be viewed as both corrective as well as
preventive action.
2. Methodology
Vilfredo Pareto’s (1842-1923), 80:20 rule was used in this study to analyse the main
causes of scrap in XYZ’s (not its original name) barrel production. The technique
emerged as a result of Pareto’s observation of the distribution of wealth in nineteenth
century in Italy which showed that 80 per cent of the country’s wealth was owned by
20 per cent of the population. This observed trend was later found to be representative
of the distribution of other data populations (Pylipow and Royall, 2001). Among some
common scenarios where this trend could be observed are:
80 per cent of the total number of quality related problems are caused by 20 per
cents of sources;
80 per cent of the total sales of a company are originated from 20 per cent of its
customers; and
80 per cent of the numbers of absenteeism are caused by 20 per cent of the
The Pareto chart is useful for non-numeric data, such as “cause”, “type” or
“classification” and is useful to prioritise where action and process changes should be
focused and is commonly used for identifying the downtime and other wastages (Hall
et al., 2000). The Pareto charts uses bar graphs to sort problems according to severity,
frequency, nature, or source and displays them in order of size to show which problems
are the most important. It is one of the most often-used statistical analysis tools within
Toyota, which is simple, yet powerful. Upon identification of the main causes of scrap,
the 5-why analysis was used to find out the root causes of scrap loss. In this regard, the
classic as well as lean manufacturing approach to root cause analysis is to question
“Why?” for five times, hence the 5-whys analysis. Prompt addressing of problems
before asking enough why questions are often short-lived and will generally recur. The
root cause of a particular problem, in this study, scrap loss, is usually deep and needs
corrective as well as preventive action. In this study the 5-whys analysis is used to
analyse the root causes of the scrap to identify the right solution to adopt.
2.1. Study setting
The study setting involves a barrel manufacturing company supplying its products to
various industries in oil and gas, cosmetic, chemical and etc. XYZ (not its real name), is
one of the biggest barrel manufacturing industries in the ASEAN region. The success
factor of XYZ is due to the ability of the operation team to work on continuous
improvement projects based on lean manufacturing methodology. XYZ’s operation
team practices various lean manufacturing tools such as RCPS, single minute exchange
die (SMED), reduction of eight wastages, etc.
Scrap loss
One of the biggest challenges for XYZ in the current competitive manufacturing
environment is to maintain and further reduce it’s manufacturing cost. Some of the
areas that were being focused are scrap loss, process change over time-loss and
machine breakdown time-loss. It was at this juncture the authors worked together with
the operation team to reduce the top scrap defect loss using RCPS. The objective of this
study was to reduce the top defect loss in the barrel manufacturing operations.
2.2 Pareto analysis
The Pareto chart was prepared to determine the top 10 scrap defects for a seven-month
period starting from November, 2007-May, 2008 for XYZ. The chart is shown in
Figure 1.
The Pareto chart plotted in Figure 1 shows the top ten causes of scrap defects and
scrap is measured based on the total weight (in kg) of scrap loss. The Pareto chart can
indeed also be plotted based on scrap loss in dollar value or the quantity (units) of
barrels being scrapped but the former value will not reflect the actual loss of the
manufacturing process accurately. The scrap loss in dollar value will also incorporate
the gain or losses due to the fluctuations in the trend of global market price of steel. The
quantity of barrels being scrapped is also not significant as each barrel may weigh
differently based on the customer’s customised requirement for barrel thickness.
Figure 2 describes scrap weight (body, circles) and scrap loss in US dollars for the
top scrap defect (i.e. last piece material scratch) based on Pareto’s rule highlighted in
Figure 1. The total weight loss for body and circles amounts to 32,015 kg. The second
and third top scrap defect which are more than 10,000 kg but less than 15,000 kg
include “uneven material from decoiling and round seam leak”. The rest of the defects
such as Erichsen Test (destructive test), Seam Cut (destructive test) and others are
totalled less than 10,000 kg each. The Pareto chart is useful here to help us focus on the
vital few problems instead of the trivial many (Amar, 2005). Applying the 80:20 rules, it
is evident that priority should be given to the top defect, as its weights 32,015 kg and
accounts for 48.15 per cent of the total weight of the top ten scraps causes.
Figure 1.
Top ten scrap defects
causes (November
2007-May 2008)
Scrap loss
Figure 2.
Last piece material scratch
scrap (November
2007-May 2008)
A second level of Pareto chart was prepared to analyse the categories or break down of
last piece material scratch scrap loss and the scrap impact on a monthly basis. The
chart was plotted based on scrap weight (kg) and scrap loss (US$) is as per below:
Based on the detailed analysis in Figure 2, it is evident that there are two categories
of last piece material scratch defect; i.e. on bodies and on circles. The scrap loss in (US$)
shown in the line chart of Figure 2 is based on the following equation:

Scrap loss ¼ ½Wt £ ð A 2 BÞ
refers to the scrap weight of bodies and circles.
refers to buying price of cold roll steel.
refers to selling price of scrap material.
The total scrap loss (US$) will not fluctuate in direct proportion with the weight of
scrap loss in (kg) as the buying price of steel and selling price of scrap steel fluctuates
based on global steel prices. As shown in Figure 2, the scrap loss in the month of April
and May is lower than the month of December though the scrap weight is much greater
in April and May compared to December. In order to proceed to the next step of finding
out the root cause and hence solutions, one must first have an overview of the barrel
making production process.
2.3 Overview of circle production in barrel-making process
This process involves the following steps:
(1) Decoiling machine press the cold roll steel to form circles. Circle drops onto the
stacking bay on the machine.
(2) Pallet is placed on the stacking bay and circles are stacked on the pallet.
Note: pallet is positioned upside down (with its leg upwards). This is to
prevent the pallet being stuck between the rollers.
(3) The pallet is moved from the decoiling machine by roller conveyer.
(4) Decoiling operator uses forklift to carry the pallet with the bundle of circles to
the stock area.
(5) Ends line operator carries the bundle of circles from pallet at the stock area to
the machine (direct contact of forklift arm and last piece of circle). Circles are
placed on roller conveyer. Roller conveyer rotates and moves the circles to the
machine’s scissor table to process it to become top/bottom ends.
Almost every last piece of the circle in the bundle is being scrapped due to scratches
found on its bottom (Figure 3).
2.4 Overview of body sheet production in barrel making process
This involves the following steps:
(1) Decoiling machine cut the cold roll steel to form body sheet.
(2) Cut body sheet drops onto scissor table and stacked on top each other to form one
bundle. Body sheet bundle is moved to standby conveyer by roller conveyer.
(3) Hollow beam (iron steel) is placed below the bundle. Forklift arm is moved into
the hollow beam. Hollow beam acts as a sleeve for forklift arm. Forklift carries
the body sheet bundle and places it in the stock area. Hollow beam is left below
the bundle and acts as the pallet.
(4) Welding operator takes the body sheet bundle using a forklift. The forklift arm
is then driven into the hollow beam and the bundle is then carried.
(5) The bundle is placed on the standby conveyer of the de-stacker (at welder). The
rollers of the standby conveyer rotate and move the bundle to the de-stacker
(scissor table).
Figure 3.
Steps of circle production
Almost every last piece of body sheet from the bundle is being scrapped due to
scratches found on its bottom (Figure 4).
2.5 Root cause problem solving – 5-whys analysis
XYZ is a lean-based manufacturing company and hence the approach chosen to reduce
the scratches defect on the “last piece material scratch” is the RCPS method of 5-whys
The 5-whys analysis was conducted for both the circles and body sheet individually
as shown in Figures 5 and 6.
Scrap loss
2.6. Remedial actions
In general, lean manufacturing RCPS tools tend to require less quantitative analysis
than six sigma tools. Toyota for example believed in simple tools and solutions
whenever possible and placed great emphasis on root-cause problem solving aimed at
permanent solution using the 5-whys analysis (Alukal, 2007). Some authors even argue
that the 5-whys technique does not even involve data segmentation, hypothesis testing,
regression or other advanced statistical tools and can lead to the root cause of a
problem by repeatedly asking the question “why” at least five times (Dolcemascolo,
2006). In fact criticism has been levelled at lean manufacturing that it does not value
statistical analysis (Nave, 2002). However this study will emphasise the point that
tangible and useful results could still be obtained and implemented successfully
without the use of statistical analysis.
In our study although the traditional 5-whys analysis requires the “why” question
to be asked five times, in the analysis above the why questions was only asked four
times for both the circle and body sheet. The reason for doing so was because the
5-whys figure above clearly identifies friction as the first level root cause for both the
circle and body sheet. The asking of the “Why” could be stopped if common sense tell
us that no more “Why” questions are needed to solve the problem (Pylipow and Royall,
Figure 4.
Body sheet production
Figure 5.
5-whys analysis (circle)
Figure 6.
5-whys analysis
(body sheet)
The 5-whys analysis from Figure 5 starts with the typical question of why the circle
last piece scratch scrap loss occurs. It was determined that the scratch occurs because
of friction of the last piece metal with the forklift arm and secondly because of friction
with ends line machine rollers. This analysis …
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