How to use tool
Drill down is a simple technique for breaking complex
problems down into progressively smaller parts.
To use the technique, start by writing the problem down on
the left-hand side of a large sheet of paper. A little to
the right of this, write down a list of points relating to
the problem. These may be factors contributing to the
problem, information relating to it, or questions raised
by it. This process of breaking the problem down into its
component part is called 'drilling down'.
For each of these points, repeat the process. Keep on
drilling down into points until you fully understand the
factors contributing to the problem. If you cannot break
them down using the knowledge you have, then carry out
whatever research is necessary to understand the point.
Drilling into a question helps you to get a much deeper
understanding of it. The process helps you to recognise
and understand the factors that contribute to it. Drill
Down prompts you to link in information that you had not
initially associated with a problem. It also shows exactly
where you need further information.
The owner of a windsurfing club is having complaints from
its members about the unpleasant quality of the water
close to the clubhouse. This seems like a huge problem.
She carries out the analysis in Figure 1:
This gives her a starting point in thinking about solving
the problem. It highlights where she does not fully
understand the problem, and shows where she needs to carry
out further research.
'Drill Down' helps you to break a large and complex
problem down into its component parts, so that you can
develop plans to deal with these parts. It also shows you
which points you need to research in more detail.