Manufacturing ERP Software
The Thinking Processes Part 7

The Thinking Processes Part 7

By Bob Sproull

Current Reality Diagram Components

There are five components or elements of a Conflict Resolution Diagram (CRD) as follows:

  •          One common objective
  •          Two requirements
  •          Two prerequisites, usually in conflict with each other
  •          Underlying assumptions (because statements)
  •          One or more injections

The common objective of a CRD is the common purpose that both sides of the conflict share and want.  The requirements are things that both sides believe must be satisfied in order to be able to achieve their common objective.  The two prerequisites are the necessary actions each side must take to satisfy each individual requirement.  The underlying assumptions are the “because” statements or why we believe that our prerequisites are so important to us.  As Dettmer [1] explains, “What makes assumptions so important to the conflict resolution process are not the valid assumptions, but rather the invalid ones.”  And finally, the injections are those ideas we believe, if implemented, will resolve our conflict and hopefully result in a win-win solution to the conflict. Let's look at an example.

To refresh your memory, the figure below is the Current Reality Tree we developed in an earlier post.  You will notice that I have circled one part of the CRT which deals with excessive amounts of WIP inventory.  This is the conflict we will attempt to resolve using the CRD.

Current Reality Tree with WIP circled

The Conflict

Conflict Resolution Diagram for High Throughput Rates

The figure above is the basic structure of our Conflict Resolution Diagram (CRD) which states the objective that both sides of the conflict want to achieve, Throughput Rates High.  But even though both sides want the same objective, the two requirements for achieving high throughput rates are drastically different as are the two prerequisites.  The CRD is read using necessity based logic which uses the syntax, “In order to have “x” we must have “y.” So one side of our conflict is stated as, “In order to have Throughput Rates High, we must have limited WIP inventory because excess WIP extends cycle times and causes late deliveries.  The other side of our conflict is stated as, “In order to have Throughput Rates High, we must increase production starts because more WIP results in higher levels of production. The “because” statements are the assumptions used to justify each side’s reasoning.

Clearly we can’t have both of these two requirements at the same time. As stated in my last post, win-win solutions require that we come up with new ways of doing things, or as Dettmer [1] explains, “New solutions to old problems that might also be described as breakthroughs."

Next time

In my next posting we’ll complete our discussion of the Conflict Resolution Diagram (CRD) and demonstrate how this conflict can be resolved.  As always, if you have any questions or comments about any of my posts, leave me a message and I will respond. 

Until next time.

Bob Sproull



[1] The Logical Thinking Process – H. William Dettmer, Quality Press, 2007

Bob Sproull

About the author

Bob Sproull has helped businesses across the manufacturing spectrum improve their operations for more than 40 years.

facebook-icon facebook-icon linkedin-icon linkedin-icon twitter-icon twitter-icon blog-icon blog-icon youtube-icon youtube-icon instagram-icon instagram-icon Bookmark this page Google +