A fishbone diagram or Ishikawa diagram or also known as cause and effect diagram is used or made to find the root causes of a particular problem. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese quality control expert, invent the fishbone diagram and now it is being used around the world to understand the root causes of a much larger problem. This diagram comes very handily when it comes to understanding the health problems that are running in families. The name "fishbone" is given due to its structure, check out the templates shared below to understand why it is called a fishbone diagram.
What is a Fishbone Diagram?
A fishbone diagram is used to brainstorm all the potential causes that could cause the difficulty and then go deep into the factors that are causing the problem eventually. This diagram simplifies the bigger problem by providing a proper structure for each and every cause. On top of that, it's very simple to understand this diagram. One can easily find the root cause by mere looking at a diagram. Basically, this diagram is used to display many potential causes for a specific effect or problem. There could be multiple levels depending on how much bigger a problem is.
- The defect is shown as the fish's head, facing to the right,
- the causes extending to the left as fishbones;
- the ribs branch off the backbone for major causes, with sub-branches for root-causes, to as many levels as required.
This diagram was first introduced by Kaoru Ishikawa in 1968; this is why it is also called an Ishikawa diagram.
How to Create a Fishbone Diagram?
Now the question comes "how to create a proper fishbone diagram". As mentioned above that a well-made diagram can easily help in finding a root cause while an improperly made diagram can actually ruin things. So keep the following things into consideration while making a fishbone diagram.
- Firstly create a head which points or show the problem or issue to be studied.
- Then create a backbone, a straight line touching the head.
- Now identify the causes that contribute to the problem. Try to find as many causes as possible. Let's say you have four causes, then connect these four causes with arrows to the spine. These will create the first bones of the fish.
- Now understand each and every cause carefully to know the things that contributed to the causes. Keep breaking down each cause until you find the root cause.
- A lot of brainstorming is required while preparing a fishbone diagram.
Check out the example shared below to see how . fish diagram is used to identify all the possible reasons for a particular effect.
Free Fishbone Diagram Template
Download Fishbone Diagram Template
Here we have shared several fishbone diagram templates. As you can see that there are many types of a fishbone diagram. We have tried to cover all the important types. Feel free to download and use any of these templates.
Where can the Fishbone Diagram be used?
There are many departments which are using or making fishbone diagram for a long time now. The most common departments are;
These are the areas that can be hugely benefited from this diagram. Additionally, it is an aspect that is difficult to gauge. The fishbone diagram is perhaps one of the best ways to see those ideas visually.
How to Use the Fishbone Diagram?
You have free templates to download, now the question comes how to use fishbone diagram. A fishbone diagram is used to understand the cause and effect of the problem. Following are the steps that will let you know how to use this diagram.
- Write down the Problem: Firstly, you need to write down the problem that you are facing on the right side of the paper. You should know the type of problem you're facing, only then it will be possible to find the causes & effect. After writing a problem, make a horizontal line across the paper, the line should touch the box where you've written problem. Now the head & spine of the fish is ready, it's time to do some brainstorming.
- Identify or Find the Causes: Next things you need to do is find or identify the causes that contribute to the problem. There could be many causes depending on the problem. These may be equipment, systems, external forces, materials or people involved with the problem. Draw a line off the spine to write down all the possible causes.
- Identify the reasons behind causes: Now you know the possible causes, it's time to identify the possible reasons behind those causes. Write down the reasons in short lines with fewer words.
- Evaluate the Diagram: Now the diagram is ready, you have everything in front of you. All the potential causes and reasons are there that you could be thought of. Now you can investigate the reasons further to find the potential reasons that are actually contributing to the problem.
A lot of brainstorming & research is required to actually find the causes & effects of a particular problem. A fishbone diagram gives a proper structure to your ideas, thoughts, and research. Use the free blank templates shared above to make a fishbone diagram.
A fishbone diagram is there for a long time now and the causes of many bigger problems have been identified by this diagram only. If you're into a problem-solving profession where you need to find a cause & effect then this diagram will definitely be very handy for you. Or else if you have any problem where you don't know the root cause, then try this diagram and see how it helps. Now you know what is a fishbone diagram and how to create it. Plus, you have multiple free templates as well, so just use these templates and your mind to find the cause of any effect.
Leave a comment below if you have any queries or questions related to this topic. Keep checking Template Part to download more such useful templates.