All posts by Jon Bernardi

The Force Was NOT With Them!

By Jon Bernardi

A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away, the Empire tried to use their fancy Death Star to keep the member systems in line. This plan did not work out very well, as Death Star One (DS-1) was not able to fulfill its mission of empowering galactic domination! DS-1 had travelled across the galaxy to quell the rebellion at the rebel base on Yavin 4, but did not count on the über-Force of the Rebel Alliance. The Empire did not realize the power of the good side of the Force as the rebels overcame all odds and were able to destroy DS-1. We can do an analysis of the incident to determine the system of causes for the destruction and show those causes visually in a Cause Map.

As much as the Emperor and his minions would not like to see this published, we begin by looking at how the Empire’s goals were impacted. We start by developing an outline of the incident. You might suspect that different factions within the Empire see this problem differently! Some don’t believe there is such a thing as “The Force” and place their faith in the power of the machine. Others use the Dark Side to exploit the mortal weaknesses of the players. The goals of the Empire are impacted in a number of ways: DS-1 is ultimately destroyed, with loss of life, and loss of a dominant-style weapon. The Rebel Alliance has gained a toe-hold against the Empire! We use the impact to the goals as the first effects of our cause-and-effect relationships and will use the disparate view of “the problem” to help us with the branches of the Cause Map.

We already know that DS-1 had planet-busting capabilities, as demonstrated convincingly at Alderaan, Princess Leia’s adopted planet. This may have led the Empire’s power structure to doubt the “Power of the Force” and put their trust in a technological titan, “The ultimate power in the universe!” Even after the plans for the station had been obtained by the Rebellion, the commander of DS-1 still disregarded any concern of vulnerability in his unsinkable marvel. In a remarkable display of hubris, the Empire allows the small band of rebels aboard the Millennium Falcon to escape with the stolen plans for DS-1. The Empire intends to follow them, find the rebel base, and wipe out the rebellion once and for all!

Another branch of the Cause Map follows the path of the stolen plans and the re-awakening of the Force on the planet Tatooine. As we analyze this section of the map, we can see the convergence of causes that led to the technical experts of the Rebel Alliance finally obtaining the plans for DS-1, analyzing them and discovering the dreaded “thermal exhaust port” – (guess even a DS has to have a tailpipe!).

Even a long time ago, we see causes in multiple areas coming together to form the overall picture of the incident. The plucky Rebellion, had THE FORCE with them!


By Jon Bernardi

There has been a disturbing rise of injuries once thought to have been eradicated. Several federal and state agencies are considering legislation to address the very dangerous injuries from the gathering of liquid di-hydrogen oxide from certain unprotected hills and wells. Once upon time became the last straw, when siblings Jack and Jill fetched the ill-fated pail. Not only were crowns injured, but various homeopathic remedies were implemented with little consequence except to other participants, notably Jill.

What caused this unfortunate turn of events?

That question can be answered by building a Cause Map, a visual root cause analysis.  In the Cause Mapping process, the first step is to fill in an Outline with the background information for an issue as well as how the problem impacts the goals.  In this example, the aforementioned fetching impacts quite a number of goals: Safety as crowns were broken; environmental, the spilled di-hydrogen oxide; regulatory, child corporal punishment and child labor laws; customer service, no di-hydrogen oxide available for multiple purposes; production, the delay of supper; and labor, the time needed for medical attention.

Fortunately no property was lost as the well-made bucket survived intact.  Once we have filled out the Outline, the next step is to ask “why” questions to find the different causes that contributed to the problem being analyzed.

So why were they going up a hill? This presents us with a number of potential paths of exploration as to why the well was at the top of a hill. Even without knowing a detailed answer we know that a potential solution would be to get them hooked up an established di-hydrogen oxide system as soon as possible!

Why was there no protection? Broken crowns are a serious affair. This combined with the potential for other injuries from the fractious “tumbling down” incident leaves us to wonder how the well could be constructed in such a manner.

These are areas for further exploration. Even with the unanswered questions we are still able to propose several solutions to ensure that child labor laws are not ignored, hills are properly protected, and home remedies are carefully considered.

To view an Outline and a high level Cause Map for this issue, click on “Download PDF” above.