What is Cause and effect Diagrams (Fishbone, Ishikawa Diagrams)

Cause and effect diagrams are also known as, Fishbone Diagrams Ishikawa Diagrams, Herringbone Diagrams, and Fishikawa Diagrams is a visualization tool commonly used to identify potential defect root causes.

Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa Japanese quality control expert invented the concept of the Fishbone Diagram in 1943 due to The Fishbone Diagram widely known as Ishikawa Diagrams. The tools are published in his book “Introduction to Quality Control.”

Overview of Cause and effect Diagrams

The defect is shown as the fish’s head and potential causes on bones in a Fishbone Diagram. Cause and effect Diagrams tools are considered in 7 basic quality tools.

Cause and effect Diagrams Can help in brainstorming to identify possible potential causes of causing an overall effect on quality defect prevention.

When to use a Fishbone or ishikawa diagram

Cause and effect diagrams are also known as Ishikawa diagram is useful in improvement methods for product development and troubleshooting to identify all of the potential root causes to eliminate defects in the process. For instance, you can use a fishbone diagram for the below reasons

  • When identifying possible causes for a problem
  • To reveal bottlenecks in any processes.
  • Identify the issues and corrective action to resolve

How to create a ishikawa diagram fishbone

Cause and effect Diagrams show key relationships between various variables with possible causes. Write down the exact problem and Agree on a problem statement with the team use a whiteboard, butcher-block paper, or a flip chart.

The next step is to decide how to categorize the cause by Brainstorming sessions often using the 5 Whys technique. In a typical category mainly used in lean manufacturing, the 5 Ms is one of the most common frameworks for root-cause analysis.

  • Man/mind power (physical or knowledge work)
  • Machine (technology equipment)
  • Material (consumables, includes raw material, and information)
  • Method (process)
  • Measurement / medium (environment, inspection)

Fishbone Diagram with example

Below is the graphic is a fishbone diagram example to find the voids in printed circuit board manufacturing. Fishbone diagram example given below.

Cause and effect DiagramsCause and effect Diagrams fishbone diagram example

By creating a Fishbone diagram example The team identifies the following possible causes of the problem factors shown in the Layers of branches.

Download template for fishbone diagram example

You can get a template for cause and effect diagrams are also known as fishbone diagram free. To download templates for the fishbone diagram example for free please click here.


Cause and effect Diagrams or fishbone diagrams are very effective tools and structured team processes to use in process improvement.

Creating this Cause and Effect Diagram helps the CFT team to clearly understand the involved process, identifying potential factors causing an overall effect to defect prevention.

tags-Ishikawa diagram fishbone, fishbone diagram example, Ishikawa diagram, cause and effect diagrams are also known as, Cause and effect Diagrams.


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