Resembling the skeleton of a fish, the Fishbone Diagram is an analysis tool invented by Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese quality control statistician. Sometimes referred to as a Cause-and-Effect Diagram, the Fishbone Diagram provides a systematic way of looking at effects and the causes that create or contribute to those effects.
Purpose of a Fishbone Diagram
The purpose of the Fishbone Diagram is to help teams categorize the many potential causes of problems or issues in an orderly way. It also helps in determining root causes. Essentially, this analysis breaks the “whole” into “parts.” Fishbone Diagrams are helpful in clearly breaking down the relationship between a topic and all of the possible factors that are related to it. When used as a Cause-and-Effect Diagram, a Fishbone Diagram can represent the amount of influence of each cause.
How to Create a Fishbone Diagram
Creating a Fishbone Diagram involves four main steps. Within those steps, “bones” are used to indicate the impact of the causes (the weight of the impact is measured in the size of the bones that are drawn). For instance, the larger bones closer to the head of the fish represent a big impact, while small bones further away from the head have a smaller impact. The four steps include:
Determine the Head of the Fish
Determine Related Factors to the Head
Determine the Possibility of Grouping Factors/Causes into Categories
Draw the Diagram
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