Using a Fishbone

A Convenient Graphic Organizer

Origin of the Diagram

  • First used by Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa of the University of Tokyo 1943
  • Also known as the Cause & Effect or the Ishikawa Diagram
  • "Fishbone" name is from it's resemblance to a fish skeleton


(Cause and Effect Analysis: Identifying the Likely Causes of Problems. (n.d.).)

How it's Used

  • To identify all of the contributing causes of a problem

  • Can be tailored by the user to fit the circumstances

  • Can be used on any type of problem in various situations

  • Popular uses included analysis for science, business and education


(Cause and Effect Analysis: Identifying the Likely Causes of Problems. (n.d.).)

Specific Example of Usage

To improve the performance of a an uncooperative branch a manager identifies the following factors, and adds these to his diagram:


  • Site
  • Task
  • People
  • Equipment
  • Control


(Cause and Effect Analysis: Identifying the Likely Causes of Problems. (n.d.).)

Pros

  • Straightforward
  • Easy to learn visual tool
  • Organized discussion
  • Stays focused on the current issues
  • Promotes *"System Thinking" through visual linkages
  • Prioritizes further analysis and corrective actions

CONS

  • Not a lot of space for detail
  • Space for expansion is limited unless more focus is devoted to a certain branch
  • Very sparse looking
  • Not the best for spontaneous thought
  • Very linear and sequential (which could be positive as well)

(Fishbone Diagram. (n.d.).)

System Thinking

System thinking is a method of critical thinking in which you analyze the relationships between the system's parts in order to understand a situation for better decision-making.


(Systems Thinking in Management: Definition, Theory & Model. (n.d.))

Steps to Creating a Fishbone


  1. Be as specific and clear about the problem, write it down and place it in a box. This box is called the "problem statement".
  2. From this box, draw a straight line, this is called the "spine". It links the problem to the possible causes.
  3. From the spine, draw the "fishbones" which will be labelled with categories of possible causes.
  4. Generate as many possible causes in those specific categories as possible.
  5. Your fishbone diagram is now done, but you'll need to justify and deliberate the causes to prioritize them.



(Fishbone Diagram - 7 Steps to better problem solving. (n.d.))

Basic Format

Big image

Additional Instruction

Cause and Effect Diagram Training Video (aka Fishbone Diagram & Ishikawa Diagram)

References

Cause and Effect Analysis: Identifying the Likely Causes of Problems. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2014, from http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_03.htm


Cause and Effect Diagram Training Video (aka Fishbone Diagram & Ishikawa Diagram) [Video file]. (2009, July 17). Retrieved September 23, 2014, from https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bNDlg1h-za0


Fishbone Diagram - 7 Steps to better problem solving. (n.d.). Retrieved September 23, 2014, from http://www.educational-business-articles.com/fishbone-diagram.html


Fishbone Diagram. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2014, from https://www.moresteam.com/toolbox/fishbone-diagram.cfm


Systems Thinking in Management: Definition, Theory & Model. (n.d.). Retrieved September 18, 2014, from http://education-portal.com/academy/lesson/systems-thinking-in-management-definition-theory-model.html