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Process Improvement (Fishbone or Cause and Effects) Animation

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Fishbone diagrams are used to identify possible causes of problems, hence their other name: Cause and Effect diagrams

Method:

* Define the problem to be investigated, and write this in a text box at the right hand side of the page.
* Draw a fishbone structure with a horizontal line across the page to the text box, and three or four diagonal lines radiating off from the horizontal both above and below it (these are the bones).
* Brainstorm (Tool 4) on to post-it notes all possible causes of the problem.
* Consider the first cause and place it on to one of the bones.
* Consider the second cause. If it is similar to the first place it on the same bone, if not place it on a separate bone.
* Continue until all post-it notes have been used, adding extra bones as required. Sometimes a single cause could be place upon several bones. In this situation place it on the bone that the majority of the group are comfortable with.
* Finally review the bones and decide upon labels for them.

The Fishbone diagram is not able to show complex cause and effect linkages. Other tools such as Tree or Relation diagrams (not covered here) are required for complex causation. However, it is suitable for most improvement programs.


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This page last reviewed or revised: Sat, 2012-09-15 2:33 PM EST USA - GMT {Greenwich Mean Time} -5 hours