Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Conditions & Actions

When doing a cause & effect analysis, remember that for any effect there is both a condition and an action that must occur.

In order for a fire to start, you need more than the conditions of fuel, oxygen and heat. You also need an action (e.g. a spark, a match strike) for the first to start. Sometimes the conditions are actions might be so obvious that you don't think of them at first, but it helps to include them since ti broadens your thinking - leading to better brainstorming or diverse thinking. You might not think to include oxygen as a condition for a fire but you might miss an important solution if you don't. That's why we use inert gas (nitrogen) glove boxes when working with pyrophoric materials.

Looking for both conditions and actions will help you to build a more complete picture and ultimately lead to more effective solutions.

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