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2.3 – Cause-and-Effect Charts

To improve the outcome of a situation, we must understand the factors operating in it. ProcessModel gives you the tools to understand the effects of timing, delays, and interactions among components in a process. However, other types of factors may require another analysis tool called a cause-and-effect chart. Cause-and-effect analysis helps to highlight all the causes of a problem and to identify the root causes before trying to solve it.

2.3.1 – Working with Cause-and-Effect Charts

ProcessModel offers a process analysis feature for gathering, sorting, and relating information in cause-and-effect charts, also called Ishikawa or fishbone charts. These charts can be used to relate causes to their effects and to determine their levels of influence. They are also excellent for documenting team brainstorming sessions.

An Ishakawa chart shows the major causes which may contribute to a problem. Then for each major cause you can diagram the contributing primary causes. For each primary cause you may also identify sub causes. Sub Causes, or root causes, are the underlying factors that affect a situation.

Cause-and-effect lines, however, do not have process properties. In other words, they carry no processing information behind them. Instead, the cause-and-effect analysis is a support diagram that helps you understand problems. Because the cause-and-effect diagram can help you determine where to focus your further analysis, it is the basis for designing an accurate ProcessModel of your process.

2.3.2 – Identifying Cause and Effect: A Tutorial

This section describes how to use ProcessModel to analyze a problem with a cause-and-effect chart. This tutorial has four sections:

• Stating the problem
• Identifying major causes
• Identifying primary causes and sub-causes
• Using information to improve processes

In creating this cause-and-effect chart, you will learn to:

• Set up and label a cause-and-effect chart
• Move causes from one area of the chart to another
• Add and delete causes

Use the example of a procurement department that is slow in processing its purchase requisitions. You want to find out why the department is not able to process more requisitions. You resist a quick fix and decide to look at all the possible causes. A good way to do this is to develop a cause-and-effect chart.

Begin with a clear statement of the basic problem or desired effect: the Procurement Department processes too few transactions.

Then identify major causes of the effect. These can be skills, procedures, information systems, authority, or any other relevant causes that lead to the situation you are examining.

When considering the causes of any effect, examine the five Ms:

• Man (people)
• Machine (technology)
• Method (process)
• Material (structure)
• Milieu (environment)

In each of these five areas, review the process in the procurement department to identify major causes that lead to slow processing. For example, the number of workers in the office may affect the number of transactions that the Procurement Office can process. Identify each primary cause, and identify sub-causes for each cause. Your diagram will ultimately display a complete list of causes and sub-causes.

In the procurement department example, you identify two problems that can be solved simply. The first problem occurs in the area of Process, where you find that incomplete forms are being recorded in the log. The second problem occurs in the area of Structure, where you find that company regulations require the Procurement Manager to review and authorize all discrepancies. This step creates a backlog whenever the manager is unavailable.

For the third major cause, People, the primary cause of slow processing is a need for software training. In Technology, the primary cause is the need for a form that staff can e-mail to the procurement department.

By identifying the root causes, you can improve the process and solve the problem. By eliminating the problems identified in Process and Structure, you can expect to see improvement. By providing the training identified in People and Technology, you can expect to see more improvement.

The cause-and-effect diagram provides a method for a group of people to define, categorize and agree on the major causes of a problem process.

Step 1: Stating the Problem

How To – Set up the Cause-and-Effect Chart

1. Click the Selector tool. Selector tool

2. On the General Palette, click the rounded rectangle.

3. Click on the right side of the work area to place the shape for the effect or problem.

4. While the box is selected, type the problem statement: Procurement handles orders too slowly.

5. Click on the Connector Line tool on the left toolbar, and select the cause-and-effect style line to draw a horizontal line from a point on the left side of the work area toward the Effect box on the right. This forms the spine of the “fish.” Cause and Effect Line

Procurement activity for process simulation

Step 2: Identifying Major Causes

How To – Place and label major causes

1. For each major cause, draw a diagonal line from the top of the work area to the spine or from the bottom of the work area to the spine.

2. For those major causes that you identify, place a rectangle shape at the end of the diagonal lines (leaning left). Adjust lines and size the shapes as necessary. In our example, we identify four major causes: process, people, technology, and structure.

3. Label each of these by typing while the box is still selected. The mode automatically changes to Text.

Cause and effect diagram explained

The chart is easy to edit. Simply drag lines from their midsections and snap lines to and from other lines. Movement works by hierarchy. If you move the spine, all attached lines will move. If you move a major cause, all sub-causes and root causes will move, but not the spine.

Step 3: Identifying Primary Causes and Sub-Causes

How To – Place and label primary and sub-causes

1. For each major cause, identify the primary causes.

In our example, we identify two problems that can be solved simply. For the major cause People , the primary cause of slow processing is a need for software training. In the major cause Technology, the primary cause is the need for a form that staff can e-mail to the procurement department.

2. Identify each primary cause and label it on a horizontal line leading from the major causes.

Cause and effect diagram explained

3. Identify sub-causes for each cause, and add them to your diagram as diagonal and horizontal lines radiating from each cause until you have enough detail. The diagram will ultimately display a complete list of causes and sub-causes.

Cause and effect diagram explained

Move the text block as needed and use the Fill tab in the Gallery to color the background of the text as desired.

Step 4: Using Information about Causes to Improve Processes

By identifying the root causes, you can improve the process and solve the problem. By eliminating the problem identified in Process and Structure, you can expect to see some improvement. By providing the training identified in People and the new form required in Technology, you can expect to see more improvement.

2.3.3 – Identifying Cause-and-Effect: Basic Procedures

Creating Cause-and-Effect Chart

How To – Create cause-and-effect chart

1. Click the Selector tool. Selector tool

2. On the General Palette, click the rounded rectangle.

3. Click on the right side of the work area to place the shape for the effect or problem.

4. While the box is selected, type the problem statement.

5. Click on the Connector Line tool selector on the left toolbar, and select the cause-and-effect style line.

line selector tool for processmodel

6. Draw a horizontal line from a point on the left side of the work area toward the Effect box on the right. This forms the spine of the “fish.”

Cause and effect process for process improvement

7. Click on the Line Connector tool.

8. Click on a point above the spine. Press and hold the left mouse button, and drag downward to draw a new line that attaches to the spine.

9. Add a cause-and-effect line for each cause you identified. Arrange the lines above or below the spine so they are evenly spaced and easy to read.

Important information to be aware of Double-click on the Connector Line tool to draw several cause lines in succession. Select the finish button to exit the line mode.

Creating and Labeling Cause Shapes

How To – Create and label cause shapes

1. For each major cause you identify, place an activity shape at the end of the diagonal lines you have drawn.

2. Label each cause box by selecting the box. When the mode automatically changes to text, you can type a label in the box.

3. Press and hold Shift, and click to select all of the shapes you labeled.

4. On the Arrange menu, point to Make Same Size, and click Fit to Text.

Moving a Line

How To – Move a line

1. Click the line you want to move.

2. Drag the line to the new location. The line, the shape at the end of it, and all dependent lines pointing to it will move with it.

3. To stretch the line, click on the line. Handles appear on either end of the line.

4. Grab the handle of the line and drag until it is the length you desire.

Deleting a Line

How To – Delete a line

1. Click the line attached to the shape you want to delete.

2. Press Delete. The line, the shape at the end of it, and all dependent lines pointing to it are deleted.

2.4 – Business Diagrams — Working with iGridsBusiness Diagrams

With ProcessModel you can create several types of business charts to establish understanding of difficult concepts or relationships. These charts can then be used separately or linked with process models to create a complete picture of the operating environment in which a process operates. Business diagrams that can be created with iGrids include:

• Block
• Circle and Spoke
• Cascade
• Checklist
• Comparison
• Deployment
• Pyramid
• Target
• Timeline

Example business diagrams created using iGrids are shown above.

2.4.1 – Working with iGrids

Business charts are easy to create because ProcessModel has built-in automation called iGrids. These iGrids prompt you for the information to make professional looking business diagrams quickly. A tutorial for a Pyramid chart follows to demonstrate the basic procedure. Each of the other iGrids work in a similar fashion.

2.4.2 – Working with a Pyramid Chart: A Tutorial

This tutorial has five sections:

• Inserting the Pyramid iGrid
• Labeling the Pyramid levels
• Adding color to the Pyramid levels
• Changing the Pyramid levels
• Adding a 3D effect

In creating this pyramid chart, you will learn to:

• Insert the Pyramid iGrid
• Label the Pyramid levels
• Add color to the Pyramid levels
• Change the Pyramid settings
• Add a 3D effect

In this tutorial, you create the following pyramid chart using a iGrid.

iGrid

Inserting the Pyramid iGrid

The first step is to select the basic shape you will use and to set the number of levels and dimensions for the layers of the pyramid.

How To – Insert the Pyramid iGrid

1. Click the File menu, and point to New Process.

2. Click Blank Page.

3. On the Insert menu, click iGrid. A dialog box of available iGrids opens. Basic is selected.

4. Select Pyramid, and click OK.

5. Type 4 in the Number of Levels box, type 1.5 in the Level Height box, .2 in the Spacing Between Levels box, and 6.5 in the Pyramid Base Width box.

Pyramid iGrid

6. Click OK . The pyramid outline appears on the screen. This outline is the iGrid.

iGrid outline

Step 2: Labeling the Pyramid Levels

You will select the font, font size, and font style for the labels on each level of the pyramid. Then you will place those labels on each level.

How To – Label the Pyramid Levels

1. In the Gallery, click on Font.

Changing pyramid igrid fonts

2. Type 18 in the Font Size box. Click the Bold button to apply the bold style.

Changing pyramid igrid fonts

3. Click on the General palette in the Gallery. Click the Process shape in the Shape palette.

Changing pyramid igrid fonts

4. Click each of the pyramid levels. The shape is placed in the pyramid, and each shape conforms to the outline.

Renaming process in igrid

5. Click the Selector tool.

6. Click the top level of the pyramid, and type Teamwork.

7. Click the second level, and type Communication.

8. Click the third level, and type Customer Support.

9. Click the bottom level, and type Quality Products and Services.

Adding Color to the Pyramid Levels

How To – Add Color to the Pyramid Levels

1. Click the top level.

2. Click Fill tab in the Gallery, and click light blue.

3. Fill each level with different shades of blue, from lightest to darkest.

Changing the Pyramid Settings

When you insert a iGrid, you specify settings for the chart. In the case of the Pyramid chart, you set the number of levels, level height, space between levels, and base width. After the chart is on the page, you can change these settings.

How To – Change the Pyramid Settings

1. Click the right mouse button on the iGrid. Do not click one of the levels, however. You must click outside the chart.

Pyramid Settings

2. Click Edit iGrid. Handles appear on the chart, and a new toolbar opens.

Edit iGrid

Important information to be aware of The toolbar contains buttons that let you insert, delete, and split a level in half. To activate these buttons, you must select one of the levels in the chart.

3. Point to one of the handles. The pointer changes to indicate you can adjust the chart size.

4. Drag the pointer up. The chart height tightens. Dragging the pointer down lengthens the chart.

5. Click the Finished button on the Pyramid toolbar.

How To – Add a 3D Effect

1. Click the Selector tool.

2. Click the top level of the pyramid.

3. Press and hold Shift while clicking the other three levels of the pyramid. This selects all levels at once.

4. Click the Shadow/3D tab in the Gallery.

3D Effect

5. Click the option in the first row, first column.

3D Effect iGrid

6. On the File menu, click Close. Click No when prompted to save the chart.