Browse Definitions:
Definition

fishbone diagram

A fishbone diagram, also called a cause and effect diagram or Ishikawa diagram, is a visualization tool for categorizing the potential causes of a problem in order to identify its root causes.

Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese quality control expert, is credited with inventing the fishbone diagram to help employees avoid solutions that merely address the symptoms of a much larger problem.

A fishbone diagram is useful in brainstorming sessions to focus conversation. After the group has brainstormed all the possible causes for a problem, the facilitator helps the group to rate the potential causes according to their level of importance and diagram a hierarchy. The design of the diagram looks much like a skeleton of a fish. Fishbone diagrams are typically worked right to left, with each large "bone" of the fish branching out to include smaller bones containing more detail.

Fishbone diagrams are used in the "analyze" phase of SixSigma's DMAIC (define, measure, analyze, improve, control) approach to problem solving.

How to create a fish diagram:

  • Create a head, which lists the problem or issue to be studied.
  • Create a backbone for the fish (straight line which leads to the head).
  • Identify at least four “causes” that contribute to the problem. Connect these four causes with arrows to the spine. These will create the first bones of the fish.
  • Brainstorm around each “cause” to document those things that contributed to the cause. Use the 5 Whys or another questioning process such as the 4P’s (Policies, Procedures, People and Plant) to keep the conversation focused.
  • Continue breaking down each cause until the root causes have been identified.

This example illustrates how a group might begin a fish diagram to identify all the possible reasons a web site went down in order to discover the root cause. 
 

fishbone diagram

This was last updated in February 2015

Continue Reading About fishbone diagram

Join the conversation

6 comments

Send me notifications when other members comment.

By submitting you agree to receive email from TechTarget and its partners. If you reside outside of the United States, you consent to having your personal data transferred to and processed in the United States. Privacy

Please create a username to comment.

please provide fish bone diagram
Cancel
what
Cancel
Why does the fishbone work from left to right
Cancel
send me fuul informations about fishbone
many thanks
hany kaoud
egypt
Cancel
Anyone using the Fishbone to produce a sales plan (not identifying problems)? Also, is there any significance as to where the categories feeding the spine are place? i.e. one closest to the head the biggest issue or contribution?
Cancel
Fish bones make you smart, because they are reach in phosporous, which feeds your brain manually. Dont pay attencion to all that say negative, because eventually they will try to shut me up with their nonsence stories
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

SearchSecurity

  • Web application firewall (WAF)

    A Web application firewall (WAF) is a firewall that monitors, filters or blocks traffic to and from a Web application. WAFs are ...

  • MD5

    The MD5 hashing algorithm is a one-way cryptographic function that accepts a message of any length as input and returns as output...

  • identity theft

    Identity theft, also known as identity fraud, is a crime in which an imposter obtains key pieces of personally identifiable ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • call tree

    A call tree -- sometimes referred to as a phone tree -- is a telecommunications chain for notifying specific individuals of an ...

  • mass notification system (MNS)

    A mass notification system is a platform that sends one-way messages to inform employees and the public of an emergency.

  • disaster recovery as a service (DRaaS)

    One approach to a strong disaster recovery plan is DRaaS, where companies offload data replication and restoration ...

SearchStorage

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is used to protect inactive data written from a primary storage array to a nonvolatile tier of disk, flash or ...

  • VRAM (video ram)

    VRAM (video RAM) is a reference to any type of random access memory (RAM) used to store image data for a computer display.

  • ZFS

    ZFS is a local file system and logical volume manager created by Sun Microsystems to control the placement, storage and retrieval...

SearchSolidStateStorage

  • SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID)

    SSD RAID (solid-state drive RAID) is a methodology commonly used to protect data by distributing redundant data blocks across ...

  • Tier 0

    Tier 0 (tier zero) is a level of data storage that is faster, and perhaps more expensive, than any other level in the storage ...

  • PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive)

    A PCIe SSD (PCIe solid-state drive) is a high-speed expansion card that attaches a computer to its peripherals.

SearchCloudStorage

  • RESTful API

    A RESTful application program interface breaks down a transaction to create a series of small modules, each of which addresses an...

  • cloud storage infrastructure

    Cloud storage infrastructure is the hardware and software framework that supports the computing requirements of a private or ...

  • Zadara VPSA and ZIOS

    Zadara Storage provides block, file or object storage with varying levels of compute and capacity through its ZIOS and VPSA ...

Close