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TeaCup Problem Solver



TeaCup is different to the other brainstorming computer program. It will draw its own conclusions from the data you give. It may be what you expected or it may have simplified the problem and come to a completely different result. By drawing its own chart it will help identify the bottleneck causing the problem, the steps needed to achieve an outcome, or whatever you want: it all depends which relationship name you choose and which elements you select to make some simple statements true.

TeaCup is totally logical cause & effect analyser; it will calculate the adjacency & reachability paths for a given problem, thereby highlighting which of the perceived relationships is indeed part of the cause & effect path. As you may imagine it relies on the accuracy / honesty of your data input when performing its logic crunching calculations, but if you get an unexpected result you can always look back and work out why it came to that conclusion.

TeaCup can be used as part of a training course with set examples created by you (Method 1), or it can be used by your students to solve specific problems under your guidance (Method 2)

TeaCup will work with all versions of Windows (including Vista), you just click on the links to download & install it on your computer and then have a 30 days trial period before you have to decide whether to purchase or not. The trial version is fully functioning, including saving your project, printing your chart or data matrix etc.


Method 1 : Educational game / management game. It can be used near the end of a training course in the form of a game to try out what they have learned. Using this method you would have projects with pre-set elements and each student fills in the relationships on their own, and then they discuss the resulting charts in a group afterwards.


Method 2 : Consultancy. Solving a problem a particular group of people have. It can be used with a small group of students and trainer for guidance round one computer. The elements are chosen with the guidance of a trainer then the relationships are created to see what the outcome is. Various methods of solving the problem can be tried out to see what the new chart reveals. e.g. removing one bottleneck in a particular process results in a new bottleneck.

EXAMPLE : Hospital Bed Blockages Problem

In this example no more patients can be admitted to the hospital because all the beds are full. What is the solution? Put in all the elements of the problem and add links for which causes what. See what comes out in the final chart.


1.            List elements of problem and select relationship:-




Name all of the bits of the problem you can think of.


You can come back to this list later to add more,


take some out,


or change the wording of an element


to make it make more sense.


2.            Highlight all combinations where relationship is true :-




Select which list items in each list will make the sentence true.


You can come back to this later to experiment.


3.            Let the computer do all the calculations for you :-





No need to do anything here,


the computer does all the logic calculations for you.


4.            Get amazed by the result :-




The vertical position of each element is fixed


and has been derived from your previous selections.




The horizontal position can be moved using the mouse


to clarify the chart.


5.            Root cause found. Problem solved!
In this example, more team assessments were needed to speed up the flow of patients through the hospital, and arranging suitable home based aftercare so that patients can be discharging as soon as they are able, not more beds.



TeaCup is also available from or listed by, (and in some cases received awards by) the following companies on their websites : -

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