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Prioritizing Causes & Solutions

Post brainstorming, Fish bone technique, data gathering exercise , you are left with a long list of causes, solutions and you now need to find the ones that really matter and you should invest effort of digging further (causes) or start implementing (solutions). When you brainstorm for solutions, you may get a lot, use the CI Matrix to find the ones you should really implement.

Check out the boxes below, click on the link to find a suitable technique

Affinity Diagram

Ideas/ thoughts can be generated by brainstorming - this serves as the next step - to organize and summarize natural groupings among them to understand the problem and come up with innovative solutions. So it is a complete technique to brainstorm and distill ideas

Read on about "how to" , see example here

FMEA - Failure Mode Effect Analysis

FMEA is a risk management tool, used to find your biggest risk areas for the chosen area. It helps us find, prioritize, risk areas to work upon as a project. Cause of failures found via FMEA route , help you find prioritized areas of work

Learn about how to do FMEA 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

NGT - Nominal Group Technique

A voting technique to prioritize, distill ideas from a brainstorming session . 

Read on about to how to brainstorm and use NGT

C-I , Control - Impact Matrix

Have you encountered situation where you have found a solution or a cause but realized some where in the process of implementation that you have no control over the cause or idea. 

OR it could be that you realize that the impact of solution on the problem is big enough to fight for control 

Control - Impact matrix or another variant - Effort - Benefit Matrix is such prioritization tool that helps you figure out , if solution or cause is worth fighting over to get approval or implement 

How to do CI and an example here

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