Cause and Effect Diagram, Fishbone or Ishikawa Diagram

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Cause and effect diagrams are commonly used to illustrate causal relationships. Causal relationships are relationships between two or more factors. When we talk about causality, we mean that something happens because another thing happened first.

What Is a Cause and Effect Diagram?

A cause and effect diagram is a graphical representation of the relationships between causes and effects.

The cause and effect diagram is one of the Seven Quality Tools.

It can help you understand the root causes of a problem. By understanding these root causes, you can improve processes and reduce defects.

The Cause and Effect Diagram is also called the Fishbone or Ishikawa diagram. It is called Fishbone Diagram because it looks like a fishbone. It is called the Ishikawa diagram because it was developed by Kaoru Ishikawa in Japan in the 1950s.

In a cause and effect diagram, each factor has an arrow pointing from its cause to its effect. The direction of the arrow represents the direction of the relationship.

 

What is a Cause and Effect Diagram Used for?

A cause and effect diagram helps you determine why things happen the way they do. In general, they are good tools for:

•It helps in visually presenting the results of a brainstorming session

• Finding the root cause of problems

• Identifying ways to solve problems

• Improving processes

• Reducing defects

 

What Are the Five Good Features of a Cause and Effect Diagram?

The following five features make a cause and effect diagram an excellent visualization tool.

1. Visualization – A cause and effect diagram makes it easy to see what's happening. You don't need to read long paragraphs of text to figure out how everything fits together.

2. Clarity – Cause and effect diagrams clearly show which factors have caused the current state. This clarity enables people to identify the root causes of problems better.

3. Simplicity – Cause and effect diagrams are simple. They use only arrows and boxes to represent the factors.

4. Readability – Cause and effect diagrams provide a clear picture of the situation. People quickly get the idea without having to overthink.

5. Ease of Use – Cause and effect diagrams use symbols that everyone understands. They are easy to create and update.

 

Tools for creating a Cause and Effect Diagram

Various tools can be used to create a Cause and Effect Diagram.

1.Manual: Using a pen and paper: This method can work only if the problem is simple. However, updating the cause and effect diagram frequently could be a challenge.

2. Microsoft Excel: This is the most common tool used to create a cause and effect diagram. It's easy to use and allows frequent updates. 

3. PowerPoint: PowerPoint provides many templates to draw a cause and effect diagram and other types of charts.

4. Visio: This software includes a variety of templates for creating a cause and effect diagram.

5. Draw.io: This tool lets users draw them online without installing the software.

 

Conclusion

Cause and effect diagrams are useful visualizations of complex situations. They are helpful when trying to identify the root causes of a problem.


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