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Interrelationship Diagram for thought mapping
Use your Relations Diagram template (RelationsDiagram.xlsx)
to identify root causes
of a complex, nonlinear problem.
Tip: to identify root causes of less complex, linear problems,
use your Root Cause Fishbone Diagram template (RootCause.xlsx)
Sample Relations Diagram Example
Relations Diagram — Key Point
A Thought Map is just a discussion aid.
A completed interrelationship diagram is often not easy to understand for people that didn't participate in the discussions that created it
but can serve as a very useful memory jogger
How to use your
Relations Diagram template
Find and open your template
Find and open your Relations Diagram template (RelationsDiagram.xlsx)
in the same way that you find and open
your other 150+ Systems2win templates.
Save your working document, following the usual
document storage and naming conventions
established by your leaders.
If English is not your native language
Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.
Open a Blank Sheet
When you're ready to start doing your own real work...
click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'
Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet
This blank sheet is where you will do your real work
(not on the Sample sheet)
Rename your new sheet
Step 1) Organize your team
Usually no more than 5 to 7 stakeholders — with differing perspectives.
Follow the instructions and use your tools to launch any team.
Step 2) State the problem
Clearly state the problem in the document title.
Distribute your clearly defined problem statement at least a day or more in advance,
so your team members have a chance to begin thinking about it, and come more prepared.
Step 3) Brainstorm
Brainstorm issues that are most likely to contribute to the problem.
Use your Brainstorming and Affinity Grouping template (Brainstorming.docx)
Step 4) Write thoughts into cloud shapes
One thought per cloud. Arrange clouds in large circle.
Some people like to include a cloud in the center for the primary presenting problem.
Step 5) Define relationships between each cloud
Choose any two clouds. If your group decides that one factor causes or exacerbates the other, then draw an arrow from the causal factor to the affected one.
Repeat this analysis for every pairing of clouds.
Perhaps re-arrange and/or color-code the clouds into affinity groups.
Step 6) Tabulate the results
Count the number of arrows leading into and out of each cloud.
The issues with the most "out" arrows are probable key causes of the other issues, and therefore probably deserve more of your group's attention.
This Relations Diagram template comes with many other useful
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