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Graphical - Visual Tools

" A picture is worth a thousand words" 

Use the tools and techniques below to think and present your findings in a visual mode

Tree Diagram

Its a diagram that presents hierarchical view from the goal / question till a certain level.

A tree diagram is a great visual and thinking tool, and is used for variety of reasons - task mapping, decision, probability tree , to show logical break down of an argument. 

It also is task mapping tool for implementation. You start with a goal and then break into detailed actions, that would be required for implementation

See examples and "how to" of tree diagrams here 

Cause & Effect Diagram

Also known as fish bone, C&E, Ishikawa diagram

Fishbone shaped diagram with Effect (Y, output) being the head and Bones as the major causes (Xs). This is about cause and effect and not symptoms . It a great way to brainstorm on causes of a problem and finding root causes

  • It can have a fair amount of detail in a visual format, which is easy to read and relate to. 

  • Removes personal biases - a team tool

  • Keeps focus on the problem

Read on about how to use Cause and effect diagram and see an example here


Pareto helps you prioritize and visually present it. Find the factors that are affecting your problem area most, follow it up with 5 why and improve your process. 

Learn more about Pareto, download an excel template here

Flow Chart - Process Mapping

Mapping a process, is perhaps the most visual and easy way to understand and explain your process. 

Once a map is there - immaterial to the level to which it is detailed - it is also easy to compare it against the what happens on the ground and what we thought it is. Also we can use the map to with more details, to find the bottle necks. 

How to make flow charts and how to use them 

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