CAF (an experience scan tool)

Consider All Factors (or CAF) is another attention directing thinking tool. CAF is used to scan our experience when confronting a new situation similar to a past one.

Our usual attitude of considering possible factors is not helpful. We may leave out important factors or even forget completely. ‘Doing a CAF’ forces us to do concrete effort to look back to our experiences.

While doing a CAF we keep thinking what we may have forgotten. This ensures we consider as many factors as possible. As with other thinking tools we allow 2-5 minutes to do this scan.

Another important aspect of doing CAF is that we are not trying to judge or evaluate at this stage. We are just in the scan mode. The evaluation aspect comes later with another tool C&S. (consequences and sequels.)

For example when buying a used laptop we may consider:

  1. size of screen, scratches, dead pixels
  2. weight, dimensions
  3. heat emitted during use
  4. memory, hard disk (capacity), accessories (card reader, microphone, camera etc.)
  5. things which can be upgraded (ram, hard disk)
  6. battery life
  7. availability of new battery and other spares
  8. reviews on Internet
  9. brand
  10. bag
  11. cd or dvd writer
  12. months/years in use
  13. any remaining warranty
  14. device drivers availability
  15. bundled operating system

Or when applying for a job, we may do the following CAF:

  1. salary/allowances
  2. medical coverage
  3. insurance
  4. bonuses
  5. other contract terms/termination notice period
  6. learning opportunities
  7. stated work time and actual work time
  8. travel time from home to office and office to home
  9. daily traveling expenses
  10. means to reach the job place
  11. small business, family owned, corporation, multi-national
  12. contract or permanent
  13. opportunities to grow and learn
  14. good will and brand recognition of the employer
  15. job title you will be assigned
  16. corporate ethics
  17. traveling/field work involved
  18. lunch time, availability, arrangement

As an exercise, do a CAF on changing your current job, profession or business. Time allowed: 6 minutes max.

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