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, www.improvisionhealthcare.com)
To construct the diagram:
- Agree on the issue or question.
- 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)
- Consider the relationships in pairs. Use an “influence” arrow to connect related elements.
- The arrows should be drawn from the element that influences to the one influenced.
- If two elements influence each other, the arrow should be drawn to reflect the stronger influence.
- Count the arrows.
- The elements with the most outgoing arrows will be “root causes” or “drivers.”
- The ones with the most incoming arrows will be key outcomes or results.