Problems have always been a part of the business. Every organization needs to do a cause and effect analysis to identify the causes of a business problem and develop corrective measures for the future. Recognizing the potential causes of a problem can help the business fix them, ensuring they do not get repeated in the future. A technique developed by Professor Ishikawa is a widely used method by business professionals to identify the potential causes of a business problem. This technique is known as The Fishbone Analysis and has become a widely used method to conduct the root cause analysis of any business problems. Business professionals widely use fishbone analysis templates to get a visual look at the cause and effects of a business problem. In this article, we will be discussing the fishbone diagram along with –
What is a Fishbone Diagram Template?
A fishbone diagram, also known as the Ishikawa diagram, is a cause and effect analysis tool to identify the potential causes or factors influencing the problem. It creates a systematic way of looking at the problem and the cause that create or contribute to the problem.
Below is a fishbone analysis example –
The above diagram resembles a fish’s skeleton, where the problem is displayed at the front of the fish’s mouth, and the possible causes are listed in the smaller bones.
What are the Uses of a Fishbone Diagram?
Although the Fishbone Analysis was developed initially as a quality control tool, it can be used for other purposes. For example –
How to use Fishbone Diagram Template?
Here are the steps to use the Fishbone Analysis-
- Identify the problem – The first step in a cause and effect analysis is problem identification. It includes – describing the nature of the problem, the magnitude of the problem, the person involved, when and where it occurs, etc. On the fishbone diagram, this will appear on the head of the fish.
- Work on the main causes of the problem – This stage involves identifying the root causes of the problem. Highlight as many potential causes as possible that can be a part of the problem. As shown in the below diagram, these causes will follow the head of the fish.
- Identify the sub causes through the main causes – Every major problem involves sub causes that contribute to the occurrence of the primary cause. This step involves identifying the possible additional causes related to the major problems identified in step 2.
The below Fishbone diagram template highlight the sub causes in a clean format –
- Analyze the diagram – By this step, a diagram would be ready containing all the possible causes of the problem that you could think of. This diagram now needs to be reviewed as a whole. These problems need to be analyzed in detail. Depending on the problems’ priority and urgency, you can dive further into each problem to investigate them critically.
- Derive an Action Plan – After knowing the problem and its causes in detail, the final task is to derive an action plan. Outline the best approach to address the problem and come up with the most viable solution for it.
Fishbone Analysis Example
The below example highlights a marketing agency trying to figure out the reason for low website traffic. As you can see, the main problem i.e low website traffic is displayed in the head of the fish, and the major possible factors which are – SEO, Content, backlinking, and website optimisation are highlighted in the subsequent lines of the fishbone diagram. The sub causes of each major factor are displayed on the lines.
A Few Examples of Fishbone Diagram Templates-
The below example illustrates the usage of a fishbone diagram PPT.
There are other prominent ways of identifying the root cause of any business problem. 5 Why Analysis is one of them. Learn how to use the 5 Whys Analysis technique to solve your problem at hand effectively.