Why Won't My Car Start?

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Slides for the session run at Systems Thinking Sheffied 2 in February 2010.

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  • Why Won't My Car Start?

    1. 1. Systems Thinking Sheffield February 2011Why Won’t My Car Start? Exploring cause-and-effect in systems and organisations Ashley Moran Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 2.0 UK: England & Wales License PatchSpace Ltd
    2. 2. A warm-up exercise
    3. 3. Task: Using “because”Take and index cardWrite a complete sentence that includesthe word “because” It could be a generic statement Maybe something that happened to you recently
    4. 4. Task: Using “because”Form groups of 2 or 3Take each sentence in turn and ask theauthor questions about the reasoningRemember: do ask questions don’t jump to conclusions don’t tell the other person they’re “wrong”
    5. 5. Task: Using “because”What did you learn?Were any of the original statementsless watertight that you thought?
    6. 6. Task: Using “because”(This task was inspired by one I readabout Goldratt doing at the start of ameeting)
    7. 7. Types of logic
    8. 8. Sufficiency vs Necessity Necessity logic IN ORDER TO stay alive WE MUST drink water IF WE DO NOT drink water WE CANNOT stay alive What are the assumptions (the tacit “because”)?
    9. 9. Sufficiency vs Necessity Sufficiency logic IF I drink water now THEN I will not be thirsty for a while IF I am thirsty THEN I cannot have drunk water recently What are the assumptions (the tacit “because”)?
    10. 10. Sufficiency with “ and”
    11. 11. Sufficiency with “ and” Read as:
    12. 12. Sufficiency with “ and” Read as: IF there is a lightbulb in the circuit
    13. 13. Sufficiency with “ and” Read as: IF there is a lightbulb in the circuit AND there is a battery in the circuit
    14. 14. Sufficiency with “ and” Read as: IF there is a lightbulb in the circuit AND there is a battery in the circuit AND the circuit is unbroken
    15. 15. Sufficiency with “ and” Read as: IF there is a lightbulb in the circuit AND there is a battery in the circuit AND the circuit is unbroken THEN the lightbulb is on
    16. 16. Sufficiency with “or”
    17. 17. Sufficiency with “or” Read as:
    18. 18. Sufficiency with “or” Read as: IF I am standing in the rain
    19. 19. Sufficiency with “or” Read as: IF I am standing in the rain AND I have no protection from the elements
    20. 20. Sufficiency with “or” Read as: IF I am standing in the rain AND I have no protection from the elements ... OR I fell in a swimming pool
    21. 21. Sufficiency with “or” Read as: IF I am standing in the rain AND I have no protection from the elements ... OR I fell in a swimming pool THEN I am wet
    22. 22. Expressingreservations about cause-effect logic trees
    23. 23. Expressing reservations People are emotionally attached to things they have worked on People can take criticism of their work as a personal affront It’s very important to tackle cause-and- effect logic problems as “you and me versus the tree” not as a matter of personal opinion
    24. 24. The Prime Directive"Regardless of what we discover, weunderstand and truly believe thateveryone did the best job they could,given what they knew at the time,their skills and abilities, the resourcesavailable, and the situation at hand." Norm Kerth, Project Retrospectives: A Handbook for Team Reviews Often used by “Agile” soft ware teams
    25. 25. Expressing reservations
    26. 26. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement?
    27. 27. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Clarity
    28. 28. Expressing reservations
    29. 29. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement?
    30. 30. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Entity Existence
    31. 31. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Entity Existence Incomplete statement
    32. 32. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Entity Existence Incomplete statement Compound statement
    33. 33. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Entity Existence Incomplete statement Compound statement Non-existent fact
    34. 34. Expressing reservations
    35. 35. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement?
    36. 36. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Causality Existence
    37. 37. Expressing reservations
    38. 38. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement?
    39. 39. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Cause Insufficiency
    40. 40. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Cause Insufficiency What about day/ night?
    41. 41. Expressing reservations
    42. 42. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement?
    43. 43. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Additional Cause
    44. 44. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Additional Cause What about the windows?
    45. 45. Expressing reservations
    46. 46. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement?
    47. 47. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Cause- Effect Reversal
    48. 48. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Cause- Effect Reversal Watch out! These can be very subtle
    49. 49. Expressing reservations
    50. 50. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with these statements?
    51. 51. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with these statements? Reser vation: Predicted Effect Existence
    52. 52. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with these statements? Reser vation: Predicted Effect Existence What else would the proposed causes imply?
    53. 53. Expressing reservations
    54. 54. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement?
    55. 55. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Tautology
    56. 56. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Tautology How do you know the rock is tiger- repellant?
    57. 57. Expressing reservations Is anything wrong with this statement? Reser vation: Tautology How do you know the rock is tiger- repellant? Dues owed to Lisa Simpson for this one
    58. 58. Categories of reservation Clarity Entity Existence (atomic, valid) Causality Existence (logic doesn’t follow) Cause Insufficiency (something missing) Additional Cause (alternative explanation) Cause-Effect Reversal Predicted Effect Existence Tautology (circular reasoning)
    59. 59. Current Reality Trees
    60. 60. Current Reality TreesPart of the Theory of Constraints (TOC)body of knowledgeTheory of Constraints enabled people tooptimise a system around a processbottleneck (as in the novel The Goal)Production capability increasedEventually the constraint became notproduction, but (management) policiesand assumptions
    61. 61. Current Reality TreesCurrent Reality Trees use cause-effect logic trees to explain the current reality of a system
    62. 62. Current Reality TreesIf you have a goal in mind for thesystem, you can identify UndesirableEffects (UDES) with respect to that goalWe’re glossing over the (moreimportant?) stage of defining the goaland its necessary conditions
    63. 63. An example CRT
    64. 64. An example CRT Note:
    65. 65. An example CRT Note: UDEs are determined relative to a goal
    66. 66. An example CRT Note: UDEs are determined relative to a goal Is low quality actually undesirable? Says who?
    67. 67. An example CRT Note: UDEs are determined relative to a goal Is low quality actually undesirable? Says who? Watch for the feedback loop
    68. 68. An interactive exercise Why are the monkeys hungry?
    69. 69. WarningThis is a trial run of the sessionYou’re the experiment, not the monkeysHide any bananas you may have on yourperson
    70. 70. The situationYou’ve been brought in to manage a roomfull of monkeysYour assume the monkeys want to behappy, and that to be happy they mustbe well fedLet’s look at some facts availableLet’s ask “why?” and “what happensif?” to explore the situation (I know the answers)
    71. 71. Drawing a treeThis slide is a placeholder for the timewe spend drawing a Current RealityTree for the “monkey story”
    72. 72. RetrospectiveWhat did we learn?
    73. 73. Further readingIt’s Not Luck - Eliyahu M GoldrattThe Logical Thinking Process - H WilliamDettmerThinking Processes Including Strategy &Tactics Trees (ebook) - Lisa J ScheinkopfFlying Logic (tree soft ware) - developedby Sciral

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