Kipling knew creative thinking starts with these defining questions
‘5W&1H’ AKA ‘the Kipling method’ is one of 30 techniques included in our PLAYBOOK, the free toolkit for creative thinkers.
WHAT IS 5W&1H?
The 5W&1H are a set of questions that provide a simple, but full, picture of any issue. It is a formula that is almost universally used across fields from creative thinking and journalism, to solving crime.
It is sometimes referred to just as ‘five Ws’, without the final ‘H’, or as the Kipling method.
Ask defining questions
HOW TO USE IT?
Rudyard Kipling immortalised these useful questions in the poem:
I have six honest serving men
(They taught me all I knew);
I call them What and Where and When
And How and Why and Who.
The ‘5W&1H’ questions provide an effective way to uncover and tell the essential story behind any problem. You can download the worksheet below.
- Who was involved?
- Who does the problem affect?
- What happened?
- What was the impact?
- What was the context?
- When did it happen?
- When does it need to be solved?
- Where did it happen?
- Where does it impact?
- Why did it happen?
- Why is it important?
- How did it happen?
- How do we know it’s fixed?
The worksheet is included in our free PLAYBOOK, a collection of 30 of our favourite tools and techniques. Download them all now in the PLAYBOOK.