A Fishbone diagram, also known as cause and effect or Ishikawa diagrams, is a problem solving approach where we create a diagram which looks like a skeleton of a fish so it is popularly known as A Fishbone diagram.
Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese quality control expert, created it first in in 1943 and were popularized in the 1960s.
Why we need it?
This approach can be used to identify all of the possible root causes of a problem or challenge. It also helps in understanding the significant factors involved in a process.
Here, solution is not provided to only part of the problem, but all the causes are brainstormed to gather every useful information at a single place and then grouped them into categories. This information is useful in finding a possible solution to target the problem.
Structure of a Fishbone diagram?
- In a typical fishbone diagram, the effect is usually a problem that needs to be resolved, and is placed at the fish head.
- The causes of the effect are then laid out along the “bones” and classified into different types along the branches. Further causes can be laid out alongside further side branches.
One techniques used to help brainstorming of the causes is to use categories as below. These are called 6Ms in the manufacturing industry.
- Machine (technology)
- Method (process)
- Material (Includes Raw Material, Consumables and Information.)
- Man Power (physical work)/Mind Power (brain work):
- Measurement (Inspection)
- Mother Nature (Environment)
With the help from this technique, a problem can be addressed as a whole in the first instance and all the causes can be identified at the very first attempt. Even before, we start proposing any solution.
It is widely applied for the design of products, and prevention of errors.