It is important to have peer review your exploration of causes and contributing factors as it could offer critical perspectives. Identify group(s) of stakeholders who did not participate in your team, but share your goals and purpose.

Present your data causes and contributing factors. Your team should share the following information:

  1. The data results you were concerned about.
  2. The causes and contributing factors of the data results that you reached consensus were both in your control, and high impact.
  3. How you reached consensus on these causes and contributing factors.
  4. Whether you believe the process you used provided in-depth thinking and substantive answers.

Group members should ask the following questions and follow through with any probing or clarification questions that help the team decide whether their conclusions appear valid, and will lead them to the desired outcome.

  1. What data did the team collect to determine that this was a problem?
  2. Are the causes and contributing factors they identified really in the organization's control? Can stakeholders do something to change that cause?
  3. Are the causes and contributing factors really high impact? Are they likely to result in improved performance if you try to address them?
  4. Are the causes and contributing factors stated in specific enough terms so that you know how to address them?
  5. Are there causes and contributing factors that might be more likely to have greater impact on improved performance in the area identified?
  6. What data could they collect to determine if this was a problem?

- Adapted from Maryland School Improvement Project