Thinking Processes – Future Reality Tree


Chris HOHMANN – Author

A Future Reality Tree (FRT), as the name suggests is a visualization of a desired, improved future state. It answers the question “What to change?” Or “change to what?”. The Future Reality Tree is one of the Thinking Processes or Thinking Process tools.

A FRT usually follows an analysis with a Current Reality Tree (CRT) and an Evaporating Cloud (EC), also known as Conflict Resolution Diagram (CRD), the latter is not systematic.

Thus the FRT turns the Undesirable Effects (UDEs) identified with the CRT into Desirable Effects (DEs) by combining the real causes of UDEs with injections, which are entities (actions or conditions) that do not yet exist, but which are necessary to correct the current state, turning it into desirable future condition or target.

Injections are a cure to Undesirable Effects when combined to the cause of UDEs. Injections are always entry points (they do not have a cause) and are distinguished from others entities by their square corners.

A FRT is recognizable by the basic structure of a cause AND an injection linking to a Desirable Effect. In the example below (French) the injections are lined in blue in order to highlight them. Numbered entities are UDEs from the Current Reality Tree.

In this FRT, two injections create positive reinforcement loops (right side).

A Future Reality Tree depicts the could-be future, but does not give all the answers about how to get there, how to close the gap between the Current Reality and the Future Reality. Therefore, two more tools or processes are provided: the Prerequisite Tree (PRT) and Transition Tree (TT).


  • Fedurko, Jelena (2011) Behind the Cloud, enhancing logical thinking, TOC strategic solutions
  • Dettmer, H. W., (1997) Goldratt’s Theory of Constraints: a systems approach to continuous improvement. ASQC Quality Press
  • Scheinkopf, L., (1999) Thinking for a change: putting the TOC thinking processes to use. St Lucie Press/APICS

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4 thoughts on “Thinking Processes – Future Reality Tree

  1. Pingback: Thinking Processes - Future Reality Tree | Theo...

  2. Usually the “normal” roadmap is CRT, EC and FRT. but What advantages (if they exist) do you see in the construction of a FRT without going through the steps normally used in the TP: CRT, EC, FRT?


    • Sergio, as a FRT uses injections to ultimately turn UnDesirable Effets (UDEs) into Desirable Effects (DEs), a prior analysis of the current situation is required. If the logic trees can be used in isolation, most of the cases I assume a sequence of trees is recommended. Where the Logical Thinking Process is different from the Thinking Processes is the addition of the Goal Tree, which has a central role and insures everything undertaken will bring the organization closer to achieving its Goal. This is the high-level focus that sometimes gets lost when using logic trees (in isolation) to solve local problems. Did you read Dettmer’s Book? Do you consider attending his training course?


  3. thanks for the explanation.
    i have not yet read dettmer’s book. i’m from Portugal and for now for many reasons is not possible to attend the training course. But thank’s a lot for the reference.


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