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From Symptoms to Causes by Thorsteinn Siglaugsson

The full title of this book by Thorsteinn Siglaugsson is

From Symptoms to Causes: Applying the Logical Thinking Process to an Everyday Problem

In my review posted on Amazon.co.uk, I gave the book a 5 Stars rating. This means it is Excellent.

Here is my book review.

Very helpful introduction to the TOC Thinking Processes

The author was inspired to write this book after attending a course on the TOC Thinking Processes from Bill Dettmer.

This is a way of building a plan based on logic and cause and effect relationships that are necessary and/or sufficient.

These were originally publicised in the business novel “It’s Not Luck” by Eliyahu Goldratt. This looked at issues in sales and marketing where the external market provides the constraint that limits the performance of a business.

I am a fan of the thinking principles but admit they are hard to master. Part of the problem is the strange terminology, the unfamiliar diagrams used and the strict logical rules required.

Diving into the detail with a strong overview is likely to feel overwhelming for many.

The book is an introduction intended to inspire you to learn more. Dettmer has written the most comprehensive book on the Logical Thinking Processes and also has written a short primer.

So why not go straight to the world’s leading expert rather than an eager, enthusiastic student?

This book is based around a simple example. The author wants to improve his house. This has the simplicity of being something that is very easy to relate to in your own life. A case built around a business would probably be more complicated and dependent on how well you understood the issues in the chosen type of business.

The author clearly explains the main steps in the process with the example. While this is simple I think it makes the case strongly for how powerful the system can be.

Later on, the author looks at a case based a hospital so you have a second, more complicated example. He then goes on to look at an importing business.

I like this book a lot. It does have a place and I’d encourage you to read it before moving to the Dettmer books. The strength of the book is in the examples because you can see the thinking processes at work and gain a feeling for the way the logic fits together.

You can buy the book from Amazon.co.uk or Amazon.com


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