Fish bone diagram is
also known as the Cause and Effect diagram.
The Fishbone diagram is usually produced during brainstorming sessions to
help identify the root causes of a problem (or issue).
This type of analysis is usually used after problems
have been prioritised and the problem to be reviewed has
been chosen (a Pareto chart may have been to do this
(click here to learn more).
example of a simple Fishbone diagram is below. It is
called a fish bone diagram because it is meant to look
like the bone structure of a fish.
People Equipment Communications
Complex Not trained Faulty Ad-hoc
Complex Damaged Too high
The diagram is used to show the most pressing problem on
the spine, and the contributing causes are captured on
the outward bones of the fish.
the above example, the pressing problem was a
is on the spine of the fish and the 7 category/areas
that have contributed to the cause are shown. Under
each of the contributing categories/areas the
contributing causes have been identified, which have all
played a part in receiving the complaint.
The above example is a simple fishbone. You may find you
have more than one contributing cause under each
stating the problem in the form of question, e.g. 'Why
has the complaint occurred?' will help the team identify
the contributing causes to plot on the outward bones.
You will also need to agree the categories/areas to
place at the top of each outward bone.
you still have difficulty getting started consider the
following areas or use one of the lists as your
The 6 Ms: Men/people, machines, methods, materials,
measures, mother nature
4 Ps – Places, Procedures, People, Politics
4 Ss – Surroundings, Suppliers, Systems, Skills
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