Causal Loop Diagrams


In a systems thinking exercise with colleagues I got a nice refresh of working with Causal Loop Diagrams (CLD). A nice holistic way to think about solving problems or reaching goals. The diagram explains your train of thought. Read more about it on the CLD Wiki site, or get a real nice walk through on the isixsigma site with an example. 

At home I looked for tooling to help me draw the diagrams. I found two nice tools that were free.

The first tool is Vensim PLE, which is a rather technical tool and aimed at simulating complex processes. It offers a lot of possibilities to add formula's and do quantitive analysis. The drawing of flows is less intuitive, but has a lot of nice options, including adding a delay icon on the arrow. The result of my first try: looks a bit complex?


Second one is InsightMaker, which is easier to use and has the nice feature of story telling. You can build-up the diagram and explain the drawings step by step. There are two ways of showing the end result: you either embed an interactive model in your own site or use the generated html page article. Both options shows all the story telling steps.

Below you find an example of the embedded model from InsightMaker, the "Publish Article" version of the same content is here. Good to know that you should read "FOCUS" as "Lean & Agile" to beter understand the content of the diagram.


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