So what changes are we going to make? You probably have some change ideas in mind and want to draw out all the potential ideas. A driver diagram is probably the best tool you are looking for brainstorming and organizing the change ideas diagrammatically.
A driver diagram is a visual display of a team’s theory of what “drives” the achievement of a project aim. It shows the relationship between the overall aim of the project, the primary drivers (sometimes called “key drivers”) that contribute directly to achieving the aim, the secondary drivers that are components of the primary drivers, and specific change ideas to test for each secondary driver.
The need for change can be driven by many aspects. Most organizations are always subject to change. It is rarely just one driver that plays a role in an organization. A change can be driven by a positive development (new business development, growth with existing customers, or a new direction of the company – blue ocean), and just as well by a negative event or circumstance (increasing demand from customers or vendors, increasing complexity in processes & delivery and of course a risk of decreasing margins).
The Structure of a Driver Diagram
- In the first box on the left, write the Aim for your improvement project (what will be improved, by how much, by when, and for what/whom).
- In the boxes to the right of the Outcome, list the Primary Drivers- the most significant influencers of your goal.
- In the boxes to the right of each primary driver, list as many secondary drivers that influence the primary driver as you can think of. Draw lines to connect each secondary driver to the primary driver (secondary drivers can connect to more than one primary driver).
- In the boxes to the right of each secondary driver, list specific change ideas you will test to influence the secondary driver (change ideas can connect to more than one secondary driver.
- In the boxes to the right of each change idea, list the process and outcome measures you will use to test the effectiveness of each change idea.
Driver Diagram Example