When a team is brainstorming on a problem there are often various opinions about the root cause of the problem. An effective method to capture these different aspects on a white board is a fishbone diagram method.

The fishbone diagram is also know as the shikawa diagram or cause-and-effect diagrams and it show the causes of a certain event.

This tools is also used during the Analyze phase of a Six Sigma DMAIC project, as the goal of this step is to identify root causes for the process problem.

Below are the steps to be followed.
1. Draw a horizontal line (central spine) near the centre of a board. The statement of the problem to the right of the central spine inside a box, which makes it look like the head of a fish.

2. Collect infomation from the participants on aspects of the problem. For the each of the main aspects, draw lines off the central spine. Aspects related to a particular main spine are then drawn off that spine. (This could be again re-categorised as the 4 Ms)

3. Set your priorities. Select the most important main spine then rank the most items drawn off that spine. Continue this process with the other main spines. You could also deep dive on each of the aspect by using the 5 Whys.

Once you have the fishbone completed, you are well on your way to understand and interpret the root causes of your problem. It would be advisable to have your team prioritize in some manner the key causes identified on the fishbone.

You can also create your own fishbone diagram online - click here to create.

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1 Responses to The Fishbone Diagram Method - The Basics

  1. Hi, I found some more important ishikawa diagram examples in creately diagram community.


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