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How to visualise problems with multiple root causes
(and details on the free legal risk heatmap workshop)
Here’s a familiar conversation:
John: we’re spending too much time on BAU contracts, we should be more strategic.
Sally: completely agree, maybe I’ll ask our law firm if they can second someone?
John: interesting, I was going to suggest we do more training?
Sally: hmm, I don’t think that’ll help, maybe we build a playbook and get the business to do more?
Difficult problems often have multiple symptoms, and multiple causes. Where to start? And how to create alignment in the team as to what the drivers are?
I really like Ishikawa fishbone diagrams to help with this. They force teams to list out what they see as the main causes to a problem, and then map out the sub-causes to that.
You can then visually see how various aspects fit together and it becomes easier to create a plan of action.
Here’s an example for “Waste in contract negotiation processes” (a topic close to my heart!).
Here’s how it works:
the problem is in the nose of the fish
each green circle has the main causes / topics that feed into the problem
the pink sticky notes show sub-causes for those main topics.
You can create further branches to the main fishbones, but I didn’t do that for this overview.
As an aside, I’m hosting a free 1 hour online workshop on Wednesday 9 August 2023 at 4:30pm (UK).
The topic is how to work through a contracts risk heatmap with your team, to decide what to negotiate on for a given contract type, and what to leave alone.
But we’ll also touch on Fishbone diagrams, process maps and other good stuff!
You can register to join via Zoom here. I’d recommend doing that even if you can’t make it, by signing up I can send you the recording afterwards.
Over 475 folks have signed up so far, so looking forward to seeing many of you there!