Cause & Effect, Fishbone Diagram

- the Cause & Effect or Fishbone diagram or quality tool used to assist in determining the root cause of problems and issues for process improvement.

One of the key issues when undertaking any process improvement is to get to the root cause of any problems or issues

Determining the root cause can be made much easier using some simple quality tools.

The cause and effect diagram or as it is often called, the fishbone diagram (as a result of its shape) can be a particularly effective tool for getting to the bottom of an issue or problem.

Cause & effect diagram basics

Cause and effect diagrams are a simple graphical representation of the cause of problems or issues. They help tease out the reasons for the root cause of a problem when working as a group or team.

The diagrams are often called fishbone diagrams because of the way their structure looks - because they look like the bones of a fish.

The problem that is seen by the group is placed where the head of the fish may be. The diagram is then drawn so that the backbone of the fish connects the "head" to the possible cause or causes of the problem.

Each of these possible causes can then have smaller "bones" that address specific issues that relate to each cause.

Cause & effect diagrams are problem-solving tools commonly used by quality control teams. Specific causes of problems can be explored through brainstorming. The development of a cause-and-effect diagram requires the team to think through all the possible causes of poor quality.

By Ian Poole

<< Previous   |   Next >>

Other popular tutorials . . . . .

Development process Systems engineering Process improvement TQM
Kaizen Quality tools    

Return to Electronics design processes menu.

Share this page

Want more like this? Register for our newsletter

Specifying Connectors for Use in Demanding Environments Mark Patrick | Mouser Electronics
Specifying Connectors for Use in Demanding Environments
With hardware being deployed in a wide variety of different application settings, many of them exhibiting harsh environmental conditions, ensuring that the operational reliability of the interconnection components utilised can often prove to be a challenging task. is operated and owned by Adrio Communications Ltd and edited by Ian Poole. All information is © Adrio Communications Ltd and may not be copied except for individual personal use. This includes copying material in whatever form into website pages. While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of the information on, no liability is accepted for any consequences of using it. This site uses cookies. By using this site, these terms including the use of cookies are accepted. More explanation can be found in our Privacy Policy