What is Ishikawa (Fishbone) Diagram?

Ishikawa diagram is also known with other names: Fishbone diagram, cause and effect diagram and herringbone diagram. It was developed by Kaoru Ishikawa and popularized in 1960s. It is known as fishbone diagram because of the it looks like the fish skeleton. Currently Ishikawa diagram is used for identifying root cause for a problem and also considered while product design to identify causes and effects to make product design robust.

How to make Ishikawa (Fishbone) Diagram?

Requirements: CFT (Cross Functional Team), Whiteboard or computer


1.  Write a problem statement at the center of the whiteboard and draw a box around the problem statement and draw a horizontal line running from the box.

2.  Now brainstorm the major categories of causes of the problem or you can use the generic headings as below:

·      Man 
·      Machine
·      Method
·      Material
·      Measurement
·      Environment

3.   Now draw a box on each cause and draw a line from each box to the main horizontal line as shown in below example:

4.   Now brainstorm all possible causes in CFT for each category and write on branches of that category. You can also make sub-branches for any branch.

Example of Ishikawa (Fishbone) Diagram:


Any Question?

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