top of page
CAF lesson

2. CAF lesson workcard

Some years ago in a big city there was a law that all new buildings had to have large parking lots in the basement so that the people working in the building would have somewhere to park. After a while this law was changed because it was found to be a mistake. Why?

They had forgotten to consider the factor that providing parking lots would encourage everyone to drive in to work in their cars and so the traffic congestion on the road increased.

CAF stands for Consider All Factors.

When you have to choose or make a decision or just think about something, there are always many factors that you have to consider. If you leave out some of these factors, your choice may seem right at the time but will later turn out to be wrong. When you are looking at other people's thinking, you can try and see what factors they have left out.

Practice 1. 

A husband and wife go to buy a used car for their family. 

They consider all the following factors:

  • That the person selling it actually owns it.

  • The price of the car.

  • The type of car and the colour.

  • The engine power and the speed of the car.

  • That all the mechanical parts are working perfectly.

  • That it is big enough for the family.

What have they not considered?

Further practice items

2. Do a full CAF on the factors involved in choosing a career.

3. An inventor has invented a breakfast pill which is very tiny but contains all the food and vitamins you need. After you have eaten the pill you do not feel hungry for five hours. Should this pill be allowed. What are the factors involved?

4. What are the factors involved in choosing your hairstyle?

5. If you were interviewing someone to be a teacher, what factors would you consider?

6. The textile workers in a country demand protection from foreign imports which are coming into the country at a lower price and taking over the market. What factors should a government consider in this matter?

7. There is a plan to turn a golf course on the edge of a growing town into a new shopping center. This is backed by business and the consumers but opposed by environmentalists. What factors should be considered in the decision?

8. What factors should you consider in designing a chair?

9. A young couple is undecided whether to get married at once or wait: What factors should they be considering?

10. In deciding how to spend your holiday, what factors would you consider?


  • Is it easy to leave out important factors?

  • When Is it most Important to consider all the factors?

  • What is the difference between PMI and CAF?

  • What happens when other people leave out certain factors?

  • Do you need to consider all factors or only the most important ones?

Learning points

A. Doing a CAF is useful before choosing, deciding or planning.

B. It is better to consider all the factors first and then pick out the ones that matter most.

C. You may have to ask someone else to tell you whether you have left out some important factors.

D. If you have left out an important factor your answer may seem right but will later turn out to be wrong.

E. If you do a CAF on someone else's thinking you may be able to tell the person what has been left out.

These de Bono Thinking Lessons are free to use by parents, guardians and teachers. (This means on this website, or to print and use in home or in the classroom. Not for further distribution or commercial use). 

bottom of page