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.

Please create a username to comment.

Can someone provide the fishbone diagram please?
Cancel
Why does the fishbone work from left-to-right?
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. Don't pay attention to all that say negative, because eventually they will try to shut me up with their nonsense stories.
Cancel
The Ishikawa Fishbone Diagram (IFD) is a tool used to identify and present possible root causes to a problem.
Cancel
Very nice and informative details on Fishbone diagram.
Cancel

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

Powered by:

SearchCompliance

  • compliance audit

    A compliance audit is a comprehensive review of an organization's adherence to regulatory guidelines.

  • regulatory compliance

    Regulatory compliance is an organization's adherence to laws, regulations, guidelines and specifications relevant to its business...

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

SearchSecurity

  • RSA algorithm (Rivest-Shamir-Adleman)

    The RSA algorithm is the basis of a cryptosystem -- a suite of cryptographic algorithms that are used for specific security ...

  • remote access

    Remote access is the ability to access a computer or a network remotely through a network connection.

  • IP Spoofing

    IP spoofing is the crafting of Internet Protocol (IP) packets with a source IP address that has been modified to impersonate ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • network disaster recovery plan

    A network disaster recovery plan is a set of procedures designed to prepare an organization to respond to an interruption of ...

  • virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized ...

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

SearchStorage

  • enterprise storage

    Enterprise storage is a centralized repository for business information that provides common data management, protection and data...

  • disk array

    A disk array, also called a storage array, is a data storage system used for block-based storage, file-based storage or object ...

  • optical storage

    Optical storage is any storage type in which data is written and read with a laser. Typically, data is written to optical media, ...

Close