Ishikawa Fishbone diagrams (also called fishbone diagrams or cause-and-effect diagrams) are causal diagrams created by Kaoru Ishikawa (1968) that show the causes of a specific event.

Common uses of the Ishikawa Fishbone diagram are product design and quality defect prevention, to identify potential factors causing an overall effect. Each cause or reason for imperfection is a source of variation. Causes are usually grouped into major categories to identify these sources of variation.

The categories typically include:

– People: Anyone involved with the process
– Methods: How the process is performed and the specific requirements for doing it, such as   policies, procedures, rules, regulations and laws
– Machines: Any equipment, computers, tools etc. required to accomplish the job
– Materials: Raw materials, parts, pens, paper, etc. used to produce the final product
– Measurements: Data generated from the process that are used to evaluate its quality
– Environment: The conditions, such as location, time, temperature, and culture in which the   process operates

Click to gain access to the Ishikawa Fishbone Diagram Tool Excel Template for a quick “click and tabulate” mode to post causes and sub-causes into the major bones and risk analysis tables/charts.