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Relationship Modeling

Relationship modeling seeks to get consensus on the cause and effect relationships of various items.

The process is similar to the process for Paired Ranking. Ballot presents workshop participants with pairs of items. The facilitator asks if the first item of a pair is the cause of the second item or has an effect on the second. The result of the process is to create a network diagram of the relationships between all the items in the original list.


A group of employees is trying to work out why a company’s customer service quality has fallen. In order to find the underlying cause(s) they are considering a number of issues in order to map out the cause-and-effect relationships.

  • Customer service rep burnout
  • Poor service quality scores
  • Product recall issues
  • Low morale
  • Training quality
  • High employee turnover
  • Internal procedures
  • Inter-departmental communications
  • Communications within Customer Service Dept
  • Service call tracking software problems

After completing the Relationship Modeling exercise with Ballot, they are able to construct the following network diagram that illustrates the causal relationships. 

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