The purpose of a cause-and-effect diagram, also known as a fishbone diagram orIshikawa diagram is to graphically document the analysis of factors (that is, causes)that relate to a single problem or opportunity (that is, effect).
Cause-and-effect diagrams are used in problem-solving situations and in generalanalysis to identify factors (that is, causes) related to a problem or opportunity (thatis, effect) to help the problem-solving or analysis team understand how those factorsmay cause the given effect, and to help the problem-solving or analysis team focuson “next steps” in process improvement.
Select a single problem or opportunity (that is, effect).
A cause-and-effectdiagram is useful for analyzing only one problem or opportunity. The problemor opportunity that is selected for analysis is documented by a keyworddescription or short narrative description placed in a rectangle or box,generally on the right side of the diagram. When analyzing more than oneproblem or opportunity, a different cause and- effect diagram is used for eachproblem or opportunity.2.
Identify the major causes of the problem or opportunity.
Cause-and-effectdiagrams have been adequately described as fishbone diagrams where majorcauses are documented as the major bones of a fish skeleton. Major causesare generally described as they relate to people, hardware/equipment, theintended operating environment, methods, and materials. Teams should beformed to brainstorm possible causes or opportunities.3.
Identify the minor causes associated with each major cause.
For each majorcause (that is, people, hardware/equipment, environment, methods, and