For background, read this article from Harvard Business Review:A Tool to Map Your Next Digital Initiative (article)
This is Causality, not a game show but a tool that will help you understand cause and effect. With my focus on change, value and outcomes, I try to understand how each change contributes to the desired outcome. Which changes might really have the impact we want? However, causation is no longer a simple 1:1 relationship or hierarchical tree. And we also need a little more structure than a completely free form strategy map.
A Dependency Network shows how the benefits from change can be realized to achieve the desired outcomes. More structured than a strategy map, more insightful than a "balanced" scorecard, such a graph helps us work through the inter-relationships, dependencies and contributions so we can prioritize and invest accordingly.
The idea of a webtool has been tried several times by individuals and organizations. Building on some of these ideas, I have developed a "canvas" that will not only allow you to draw and work with a BDN, but also connects back to a benchmark and database. As you drag and drop shapes, it suggests wording for the outcomes, changes, enablers, etc. pulling from a database of projects and ideas collated over 20 years. Finally, as you connect the elements to indicate the dependencies, it suggests their contribution, again based on project data and within the bounds of reality, drawing from previous BDN experience as well as industry norms and process benchmarks (such as APQC). Finally, by highlighting or dimming unrelated elements, the text for a "story with numbers" emerges for use in the apocryphal elevator conversation.
The tool has been in beta for a few months and a few close friends have tried their hand; now it is time to let everyone go for it. If you are interested, then please let me know. There is a quick video intro and I am working on a "Wizard" to get you going quicker.
As a consultant, it supports your discussions around change and outcomes. More than just a drawing or diagramming tool, it will prompt you and suggest relevant items and connections as you construct a causal network using a growing database of Drivers, Outcomes, Benefits, Changes, Capabilities and Enablers. Such diagrams are also referred to as value chains or Benefits Dependency Networks but these are often seen as too complex; this tool will analyse the linkages and indicate the contribution of each and write a simple story with numbers to summarize the causes that impact the outcomes. You can save, extend or continue your work using this or other tools (even notepad) as the file format is well-formed XML, text that conforms to an extensible schema and namespace, that is published as bdn.xsd. For further information send email to firstname.lastname@example.org
This is a placeholder for PPT2BDN, a conversion tool that understands PowerPoint slides and creates XML for use with this tool.