A pictorial representation of the cause-and-effect relationships among elements of a problem or issue.
The relations diagram is used to identify root causes of a problem. It is often used after the cause & effect diagram.
- The leader clearly defines (writes) the issue or problem (may be taken directly from the Cause-and-Effect Diagram).
- Construct the diagram layout with the effect (issue or problem) in the center of the diagram and all suspected causes, one per block, around the center.
- Analyze as a team the relationship between each two factors, asking “Does this affect/influence/exacerbate the other?” Draw arrows from those that influence to those that feel the effect.
- Count and list the arrows in and the arrows out for each cause category.
- Identify the root causes (many arrows out, few arrows in) and the root effects (many arrows in, few arrows out). Understand that most root effects will disappear without direct action if root causes are addressed.
- As a team, study the final diagram to determine root cause and next action steps.
Where can you use the Relations Diagram in the PDSA Cycle?
|Example of Using a Relations Diagram|
|Things to remember about the Relations Diagram
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