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High Level Overview of CQI Thought Process

The Interrelationship DiGraph is a visual tool that: 1) helps make use of team knowledge in the absence of hard data; 2) plots the complexity of causal relationships; and 3) builds team consensus on priorities. What you end up with is:

  • Drivers (the fundamental elements of a system that drive the other parts)
  • Measures (the elements of the plan that can be used to measure success)
  • Systems understanding of the causal relationships (Jim Handyside,

To construct the diagram:

  1. Agree on the issue or question.
  2. In a circle, place labels or post-its for every element involved in the issue. (this is sometimes the headers taken from an affinity diagram)
  3. Consider the relationships in pairs. Use an “influence” arrow to connect related elements.
  4. The arrows should be drawn from the element that influences to the one influenced.
  5. If two elements influence each other, the arrow should be drawn to reflect the stronger influence.
  6. Count the arrows.
  7. The elements with the most outgoing arrows will be “root causes” or “drivers.”
  8. The ones with the most incoming arrows will be key outcomes or results.