3 Problem tree

Short description

Select a situation known to the group and decide on the core problem. What are the effects of this problem? What are the other problems which contribute to the core problem? (NB Avoid writing down a lack of solutions as problems, rather state the problem itself that needs to be solved, e.g. rather than writing “Lack of awareness on effects of dumping”, say, “Townspeople dump waste in street.”) Build up the ‘tree’ from the core problem in the middle with causes below and effects above:

Add more cards to extend the tree as the discussion develops. Draw a line around a certain part of the tree in order to define a manageable project.

Rules of engagement

This technique enables all stakeholders to participate in a sophisticated discussion of causes and effects.

NB To turn this into a hierarchy of project objectives, simply turn each card around and write a positive version of the ‘problem’ that was written there.