The easiest way to understand How-how diagrams is to see some examples, and then follow the steps for how the diagrams were created. The How-How diagram in Figure 1 was developed to identify ways to achieve the goal of increasing operating profit in a manufacturing business. The diagram in Figure 2 was developed to identify ways to improve grain yield in an environment where water is limited.
Drawing How-how diagrams
- In a box on the left write the goal. If you are working on a problem, turn it into a goal. For example, if the problem is low operating profit, the goal is to increae operating profit.
- Ask "How can the goal be achieved?"
- Write the answers to the question in boxes one under the other to the right of the goal.
- For each of these answers ask "How can this be achieved?"
- Write the answers for each of these question in boxes further to the right.
- Keep asking "How" questions until you have no more answers or until high priority improvement options become obvious.
- If there are several options available you may need to prioritise them.
Other tools to use with the How-how diagram
How-how diagrams can be used in step 2 of the CI&I - Continuous improvement and innovation process.
When you are defining the goal in the How-how diagram you can use the SMARTT goal tool.
Support to use the tool
Please contact us if you would like help to use How-how diagrams.
A worksheet to help you use the tool can be found in the 'Documents' section on the far right.