Cause and Effect Diagram
The cause and effect diagram is sometimes called an Ishikawadiagram after its inventor. It is also known as a fish bone diagrambecause of its shape. A cause and effect diagram describes arelationship between variables. The undesirable outcome isshown as effect, and related causes are shown as leading to, orpotentially leading to, the said effect. This popular tool has onesevere limitation, however, in that users can overlook important,complex interactions between causes. Thus, if a problem iscaused by a combination of factors, it is difficult to use this tool todepict and solve it.
Cause and effect diagrams can be very useful at both thebeginning and end of an improvement project cycle. At thebeginning of a project, these diagrams can be used inbrainstorming sessions to identify specific roots of a problem.Give out Post-it notes to the team and start writing causes of apre-selected problem. Use the notes to expand certain topics orcluster them to identify others.Cause and effect diagrams are also useful at the completion of aproject cycle as a reporting tool. The top half of the diagram candescribe factors that helped the progress of the project while thebottom half can display those factors that hindered the process.