Cause and Effect Diagram have several other names as well, Fishbone Diagram due to the way it look, or Ishikawa Diagram after the person who first created it.
The Fishbone Diagram can be used to identify many possible causes for a problem. It is a visual tool used together with brainstorming for categorising the potential causes of a problem into categories and identifying its root causes.

Creating a Fishbone Diagram

Fishbone Diagrams are often created as a group rather than by a single person.

  • The first thing to do is to agree on the problem stamen so that everyone is on the same page.
  • Brainstorm all potential causes to the problem which then following will be sorted into 6 categories. It sometimes helps to keep the categories below in mind when generating the potential causes.
    • Method
    • Machine
    • Man (People)
    • Material
    • Measurement
    • Environment
  • Add all the causes to their categories as seen in the picture below.
  • If using 5Whys in combination with the Fishbone Diagram additional branches are added to the causes to get to the root causes of the problem.

Fishbone Diagram for Problem Solving

Fishbone Diagram is a very effective tool for the Root Cause Analysis and a natural element of 8D Problem Solving. An additional benefit by using Cause and Effect Analysis is to go through a more thorough investigation of the causes behind the problem, and avoid jumping directly to “fixing the problem” which is human nature.

History of Fishbone Diagram

The Fishbone Diagram was invented by Kaoru Ishikawa who was a Japanese pioneer in Quality Management.

If you are interested in Fishbone Diagram and Analysis, then our 8D Problem Solving Training might be interesting for you.
Our 8D Training is a detailed training on how to effectively solve problems and prevent them from reoccurring, and cover the use of Fishbone Diagrams as part of the training.

Alternatively you can continue to our quality training page for an overview of the training we provide.

Go to Quality Training

Cause and Effect or Fishbone Diagram