Individual Creativity Exercise

5W2H Method


Brief description of creativity technique

The 5W2H method is used to identify, describe and solve a problem by asking questions according to a specific pattern reflected in its name. This method is one of the most powerful management tools, and one of the simplest and easiest to apply. The 5W2H approach is nothing more than a qualified, structured, and practical action plan, with well-defined steps.

This completely clarifies all possible questions that may arise when dealing with company-related business processes.

The name of the method consists of two parts:

5W means five words beginning with the letter W in English:






2H which is two words in English beginning with the letter H:


How many? / How much? 

Appropriate use of the 5W2H method helps to verify the problem from a broader perspective and enables more accurate decisions to be made.


Exercise for skills at the level of:






Learning objectives of the exercise

Learning objectives:

  • developing skills expected in the labour market, 

  • increasing the ability to think in a focused and logical way,

  • increasing the quality of group cooperation by directing participants towards a common problem.   


Using the technique, the following skills are promoted and developed:

  • a systematic approach to the problem,

  • consistency in the implementation of the chosen course of action, 

  • logical goal-oriented thinking,

  • team cooperation, 

  • creating innovation, 

  • data analysis,

  • building capacity for improvement,

  • define and describe the problem correctly.


Students with natural leadership qualities will emerge as they work in teams.


Developing these skills in students will help them understand the importance of these skills as a resource for enhancing their career potential. Students and graduates will be more attractive for employers in a labour market where companies focused on innovation and creativity are growing  


The course is not difficult as it can be followed by any group according to its expectations.


Skills developed/enhanced by the exercise









Tolerance of ambiguity, uncertainty and complexity

Others, please specify



Critical Thinking

Divergent thinking skills


Negotiating skills


Strategic thinking




In person: 3h

Online: 3h


How many people are needed?

Minimum 5 persons


Materials required

In person:

  • a large table or tables arranged in such a way that the participants form a circle and can see each other and pass the cards freely,

  • chairs arranged around a table,

  • A4 sheets, preferably white printer paper - no less than three sheets for each participant,

  • pens, preferably blue or black, for each participant (ideally the pens should be the same to ensure greater anonymity),

  • coloured markers or crayons - for each participant,

  • markers.

Online: TEAMS platform and whiteboard function


Instructions for conducting the exercise

The workshop is led by a leader trainer whose task is to stimulate the activity of the whole group and to allow each person to speak freely at each stage of the workshop. In order to carry out the variants you will need:


Step 1. Define a problem, specify it, and source information

Step 2. Present the 5W2H method (The five W's-who, what, when, where, and why, and the two H's-how and how much)


Step 3. On the worksheet start answering the questions


Step 4. Create the action plan (the product of the answers)


Step 5. Present the action plans and discuss their effectiveness


Case study from desk research

Case study for analysis. The lecturer prepares a case study appropriate and adequate to the field of study and the group with which he/she conducts the workshop. It can be based on a real example known to the lecturer or on a simulation.  

A case study of a fan manufacturer (Ingaldi, Nowakowska, 2016) 

Information about the problem 

Company "X" operates in the ventilation and air-conditioning industry.  

The problem concerned non-compliant housings for domestic fans arriving at assembly stations in the company. The problem of casings occurred on the production line of domestic fans that were non-compliant with the requirements. The problem was noticed by employees assembling the components into finished products, the non-conformities were related to the surface condition of the housing (scratches, dents, "bulges", inclusions). It was assumed that the identified non-conformities arise during the production of moulded parts, at the finishing processing stations and during the transport of finished parts. This information was analysed according to the 5W2H method.

5W2H analysis.


Domestic fans for wall and ceiling mounting


All assembly stations

Preliminary event

Non-compliant elements of the casing (the casing itself and the front panel, i.e. the grille) arrive at the fan assembly stations, these parts have dents, scratches, cracks, "bulges", inclusions.


The problem relates to incompatible housing components domestic fans.


Finished housing components are transported from the warehouse to the assembly stations, a problem was noticed during the assembly of components such as the motor, electrical cables, and propeller into the housing. 


The problem arises at assembly stations fans.


An emerging problem was noticed by employees from assembly stations.


The problem arises in almost every batch of housing components produced and transported to the assembly stations. 


Non-compliant fan housing parts cannot be repaired, they are rejected and counted as losses. Discrepancies occur during the production, finishing, or transport of finished parts.

Event checked

During the assembly of fan components, station workers noticed that housings and grilles that are transported to their stations arrive non-conforming to specifications and requirements. It was found that in almost every batch there are non-conforming elements. This incident exposes the company to financial losses as these components are rejected for shortages and have to be produced again.