Future Reality Tree

Future Reality Tree - Starting Point
Future Reality Tree - Stating Point

Note: This is one of the thinking skills taught by Eliyahu Goldratt in his book "It's Not Luck". This page brings together all material from that book which deals with this skill. Future Reality trees are used to map out and understand a system and how one part effects the others. Reading this page is not a substitute for reading the book as there is information in it that I cannot possibly reproduce here. If these thinking skills interest you, and they should, I urge you to aquire the book for yourself and read it. It is very readable and it is very affordable! The book is available in many bookstores, from Amazon, and also from North River Press.

This Future Reality logic tree represents the reality we want to move to - the system as we sould like it to operate. The whole point of this exercise is to gain more insight into the system of causes and effects that must be created in order to create the desired reality. So, even if at first, the task appears to be no more realistic than 'Pigs with wings', what we stand to learn by doing this is more than worth the the effort. We write our desired objectives at the top of a page and we write our injection(s) at the bottom of the page. First, we want to find out if the injection we have identified can and will lead to the desired outcomes. Second, we hope to find out more about what it will take to make our injection real.

So we contruct a logical linkages to connect the injection(s) at the bottom to the objectives at the top. Let's take a look at the tree that Alex and Don constructed in chapter twenty. The starting point which was created by Alex from his examination of the Current Reality Tree is shown to the right.

The box at the bottom is the Injection. It is an idea about how to create this Future Reality Tree. Again, by constructing the Future Reality Tree, we hope to gain more understanding about the injection - specifically, how to do it! Now go through chapter twenty and draw the Future Reality Tree as Alex and Don describe it up to page 182. When you are done you can check your result against this diagram.

Management Replaced
Negative Branch - Management Replaced

To further understand the Future Reality tree they are building, Alex employs the Negative Branch Reservation thinking skill to better understand what is happening. In this case the injection appears to be unreal because of their implicit assumptions that a better product must cost money and take time to develop. The Negative Branch Reservation helps them come to grips with this unseen assumption. Lets look at the negative branch which they detail.

By reasoning their way from the original injection Alex and Don realize that the traditional way to improve a product is to spend time and money to develop a better product. This is one of the most common and a tried and true method of improving products. Alex looks at the branch and asks where things switch from being positive to being negative. Then they identify the assumption under that arrow. This is shown in the diagram to the right.

Finally they have identified that the assumption is that the product is actually new. A new product actually requires the outlay of both time and money. They have neither time or money so the question is can they create a product which does not require either time or money. From their experience with their printing company they realize that this can be done. They refer to this as 'making small changes' to their existing product.