CAF Thinking Tool - Consider All Factors


CAF Tool Description:

CAF Stands for Consider All Factors. Many people assume that they have considered all the factors before taking the decision but the reality is that they would have considered only the obvious ones which came to their mind.

Do you think the car or vehicle you own right now was the best decision you took when you are considering to buy that?

For poor thinkers, their decision to buy the car is influenced by emotions compared to the other factors. Many people buy the car just because their friends bought the same car. Here the decision is influenced by emotion rather than any judgment. This tool protects you from taking the decision based on gut feelings and emotions.

CAF tool directs your attention towards exploring all the factors which influence decisions than concluding prematurely on the first factor that comes to your mind or your attitude towards the subject.

How To Use CAF Tool

The first step in using CAF tool while making the decision is to list down all the factors which affect or influence your decision. While doing CAF, emphasis should be given on what factors are left out or What else must be considered before considering the decision? After listing down all the factors, weight(importance) is given to all the Factors. Score factors between 0 and five, where five denote higher weight. Based on the weighting of the factors choose the option which satisfies the higher weighting factors.

By employing CAF Tool, your decisions will be based on the importance of the factors rather than your gut feeling during the time of consideration.

Tips for using CAF tool:

  1. Postpone identifying importance or weighting of factors until all the factors are listed down.
  2. Set the total number of factors as your target (Ex - Ten factors). Continue working on the factor list till you reach the target count.
  3. When multiple people do CAF together, the group as a whole improves their decision-making skill.

When To Apply CAF Tool:

  1. To Evaluate an Idea individually or group.
  2. To Plan any project (family tour, relocation, etc)
  3. When you to choose from various options
  4. When you have to decide on major turning points in your life such as new school, new job, starting business, etc
  5. To evaluate your decision when buying goods which are costly.

CAF Tool Usage Example:

Topic: Choose the best car for your family

Factors To Consider:

  1. Mileage.(+3)
  2. The size of the existing Garage space. (+5)
  3. Type of Fuel. (+3)
  4. Price Affordability. (+4)
  5. Resale Value (+2)
  6. Safety features during accident (+4)


From the above points, you can observe that the priority for the size of the car is more important than any other factor. If you would have bought a car based only on the mileage and price factor because of your poor salary increase this year, then your decision would have caused chaos.

Activities for Practice:

  1. You are asked to Gift your friend next week. What factors should you consider before selecting the gift?
  2. One of your friend wants to borrow money from you. Do CAF to decide whether you are going to lend.
  3. You are planning to go for a summer tour. Identify factors before choosing the destination.
  4. List out the factors to design bed.
  5. Your family is interested in keeping some pet animal at home. What factors would you consider in choosing the pet?
  6. You are planning for the Birthday party for your friend. What factors should be considered for the venue?
  7. You need to relocate your house close to your office. List out the factors to be considered.
  8. You are asked to write a story for the classwork. What factors should be considered while writing the story?
  9. You are asked to interview a candidate for a junior level position in your company. Do CAF on factors to consider for hire.
  10. You need to choose which bachelor degree course you want to attend. Find out all the factors.
  11. What factors should your consider for getting married?
  12. The productivity is coming down in your company. Do CAF on how to improve the motivational levels of your employees.

For Further Reading

1. Book - Teach Your Child How to Think by Edward De Bono

2. Book - De Bono’s Thinking Course

Related Skills :

  1. Thinking Skills
  2. Decision-Making Skills
About Prabakaran Thirumalai 767 Articles
Blogger on topics including Life Skills such as Learning, Thinking, Emotional Intelligence, Motivation, and Social Skills.