Systems Diagrams

Systems Thinking Diagram in Excel


Systems Thinking DiagramUse the Systems Thinking to identify the systemic causes of delay, waste, rework, and cost.

Select cross functional team members who have direct experience with the problem and it's ongoing cost to the company, customers, and employees.

Systems Thinking

Systems thinking recognizes that cause effects are not always direct and linear (like the fishbone or cause-effect diagram might have us believe.) Systems thinking is a way of looking at circular cause effects. In many ways, a systems diagram is similar to a relationship diagram.


The more pressure there is to "fix" service, the more resources we devote to fixing customer affecting problems; the more resources we devote to fixing problems, the fewer resources we have to devote to preventive maintenance work, which ultimately leads to more customer problems and higher pressure to fix service. 

Service Problems Systems Diagram 

Types of Cause-Effect Loops

There are two basic types of cause-effect loops: reinforcing and balancing loops.

Reinforcing Loops

Reinforcing loops involve exponential increases or decreases in key indicators.

Reinforcing Loop Diagram Reinforcing Line Graphs

Balancing Loops

Balancing loops exert pressure to balance increases or decreases in key indicators. 
Balancing Loop DiagramBalancing Line Graphs

System Diagram Symbols

Boxes represent key indicators--the number, amount, or quantity of anything that can increase or decrease. (e.g., amount of technicians, number of complaints, rewards, incentives, time on a call, etc.) 
Arrows represent the cause-effect links.


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