Toc Tool: The Branch

The branch, in general, is used to understand cause-effect links between actions and consequences, make predictions, and create new and better solutions.

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The Branch (TOC Tool)

The Branch is a TOC tool used to logically analyze and explain a logical structure of cause-effect connections.

The branch, in general, is used to understand cause-effect links between actions and consequences, make predictions, and create new and better solutions.

In order to make sure that we have built a sound branch, we should read the diagram out loud from bottom to top using the words: "If...then" which express the causal relationship.

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We read every connection: "If...(the cause)..., then...(the effect)..."

In the above diagram, each oval stands for the logical connector “and” and the boxes 3, 5 on the side provide supplementary cause to obtain the effects 2 and 4.   We read this as follows condition (cause) 1 and condition 3 imply the effect 2, and causes 2 and 5 imply the effect 4.

Negative and Positive Branches 

A negative branch describes, by drawing cause-effect connections, how an idea could lead a negative outcome that we do not want.

To construct a Negative Branch -

We use the Negative Branch to understand and analyze our concerns about implementing the idea.

  1. First define the idea.
  2. Then create a list of negative outcomes.
  3. Finally, connect the idea to significant negative outcome using cause-effect connections.

A Positive Branch also can be constructed that considers positive concepts.

Both negative and positive branches are necessary to check whether a particular decision is logically sound.