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The tree diagram makes it possible to follow up the action plans and to ensure the achievement of the objectives.


The tree diagram makes it possible to follow up the action plans and to ensure the achievement of the objectives. It structures the logical and systematic development of actions and prevents to forget steps. It is used as a planning tool.

It comes in the Shape of a subdivision of a complex subject from the most general level to the most specific.

1-Define the subject

We start by identifying the subject of the project. The subject can be very broad and can define a problem, an improvement… As part of a problem solving project, we put the cause of our problem identified in the previous step of the 7 new quality tools.

Register it to the left of the workspace and set it using the 5W2H tool:

  • What: what are we talking about, what do we have to achieve…?
  • Who : who is part of the project, who is impacted by the results…?
  • Where: in which geographical area does the project apply…?
  • When: What is the turnaround time?
  • How much: What is the budget?
  • Why: What are the stakes…?

The How of the 5W2H will not be answered , because it is the purpose of the tool to respond to it.

2-Identify a first ” batch ” of tasks

Each person in the group Inscribes on his side the actions to be done to achieve the previously defined goal.

3-Validate the actions and classify them

3.1 Validating actions

The group appropriates the proposals by asking the following questions for each post-it:

  • Is the statement clear and understood by all?
  • Are the statements homogeneous (redundancy…)?

It should be noted that, as well as a creative session, the group does not have to discuss the merits or not of the action. We are focusing at this point on the fact that everyone understands the statement.

3.2 Group Actions

In the second phase, groups of actions are defined. These groups are defined according to the similarities of the proposed actions.

3.3 Build the Tree

Always in groups, we highlight hierarchical levels of sub-actions according to a logical sequence. We take up each group defined previously and ask the question: What is the objective this group of actions will allow us to achieve?

One begins to build a tree by developing relationships of causes to effects in actions or groups of actions, the final effect being the subject of the project.

4 – Iterate through step 2 and 3

The tree is finalized by repeating steps 2 and 3. This iteration will end when the group will have no idea about additional actions.

5 – Check the tree

This phase is a check in the two senses of the tree. We will read it from left to right and from right to left the tree to check the logic.

In this way, it is possible that new actions will be identified, asking the question: do the actions represent all the possible actions to achieve the higher objective?

6-Set up the priorities

According to the criteria chosen by the group, priorities are highlighted in the actions. The group will choose 2 or more criteria that can be weighted via the Pugh method, AHP or the Gain/cost matrix. We’re deducting the schedule.

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