Engineer-aerospace & Marine
Learning & Teaching Fellow (retired)
Amith R Murthy
Manager - Hr
Sr. Manager-business Excellence
Executive - Hr
Check out the following:
When should a fishbone diagram be used?
Does the team...
Need to study a problem/issue to determine the root cause?
Want to study all the possible reasons why a process is beginning to have difficulties, problems, or breakdowns?
Need to identify areas for data collection?
Want to study why a process is not performing properly or producing the desired results?
How is a fishbone diagram constructed?
Draw the fishbone diagram....
List the problem/issue to be studied in the "head of the fish".
Label each ""bone" of the "fish". The major categories typically utilized are:
The 4 Ms:
Methods, Machines, Materials, Manpower
The 4 Ps:
Place, Procedure, People, Policies
The 4 Ss:
Surroundings, Suppliers, Systems, Skills
Note: You may use one of the four categories suggested, combine them in any fashion or make up your own. The categories are to help you organize your ideas.
Use an idea-generating technique (e.g., brainstorming) to identify the factors within each category that may be affecting the problem/issue and/or effect being studied. The team should ask... "What are the machine issues affecting/causing..."
Repeat this procedure with each factor under the category to produce sub-factors. Continue asking, "Why is this happening?" and put additional segments each factor and subsequently under each sub-factor.
Continue until you no longer get useful information as you ask, "Why is that happening?"
Analyze the results of the fishbone after team members agree that an adequate amount of detail has been provided under each major category. Do this by looking for those items that appear in more than one category. These become the 'most likely causes".
For those items identified as the "most likely causes", the team should reach consensus on listing those items in priority order with the first item being the most probable" cause.
23rd October 2007 From India
Below are the steps for Cause and Effect diagram
Let us take example of Attrition
1. Select team members for Brain storming
2. Schedule 30 minutes & ask members to write in a post-it note the reasons for attrition (one post it per reason)
3. Every one should participate & no one should comment or critisize others ideas.
4.You will get approx 60-100 points. Notedown all the points & group them together.Select suitable heading. In attrition case the headings may be Management, Employee, Systems and external environment (it may vary from company to company)
5.Each group becomes one of the branch in your fish bone diagram.
6. For each point ask why -5 times to get the root cause of the problem
7. Highlight the significant rootcauses and act on them using 3 W1H format (What action, How,Who and When)
If you need more guidance, contact
24th October 2007 From Singapore, Singapore
I can help you but the causes are my assumptions and may not be facts in your company.
For Attrition below are some of the causes
No Career growth
No/poor basic facilities
Poor salary (this is the one cause most people like,but it is not the truth!!!)
No employee engagement programs
Poor performance appraisal
Poor treatment from superiors (there is a famous saying "People leave because of their bosses,not because of the company)
Poor retention policy
Location of the company
and many more .....(Infact when you do a brain storming you will get 100 of such causes)
After collecting them, make 4-5 groups with appropriate headings.In the above case, you can make the following groups
1. Company - Policy ,systems,salary,facility related points
2. Employee - Growth,learning,over qualification etc...
3. External environment - Opportunities , MNC effect et...
4. Internal environment - Boss , peers, motivation etc.......
Now draw Cause and Effect diagram (Hope you know how to draw it)
Then drilldown each of the causes using 5 why analysis
employees not clear about career growth
They are not appraised about it
No system in HR for this
(Note: In most of the cases you will get the root cause in 3rd or 4th WHY)
After getting the root cause , plan counter measures.
In the above case "No System for mapping & communicating the career growth" is the root cause, and action point is "Introduce System"- atleast for key employees.
counter measure is Just opposite to the root cause .............
But remember, this is very subjective.Unless the person doing the analysis is experienced(competative) you end up in wrong root causes!!!!
My suggestion is learn it by experience .Take expert guidance if required.
Again, feel free to contact me if you need more assistance on this
25th October 2007 From Singapore, Singapore
I think you can go with PR and just think on which of those reasons are applicable for your company also that will help you in a better way and thus you can get your cause and effect diagram done.
More over as mentioned by PR who ever gives your the reasons you are the best person to finalise it since it is only you who can know the problem in your company. I hope it is clear for you now. All the best........
25th October 2007 From India, Bangalore
By Kerri Simon
When utilizing a team approach to problem solving, there are often many opinions as to the problem's root cause. One way to capture these different ideas and stimulate the team's brainstorming on root causes is the cause and effect diagram, commonly called a fishbone. The fishbone will help to visually display the many potential causes for a specific problem or effect. It is particularly useful in a group setting and for situations in which little quantitative data is available for analysis.
The fishbone has an ancillary benefit as well. Because people by nature often like to get right to determining what to do about a problem, this can help bring out a more thorough exploration of the issues behind the problem - which will lead to a more robust solution.
To construct a fishbone, start with stating the problem in the form of a question, such as 'Why is the help desk's abandon rate so high?' Framing it as a 'why' question will help in brainstorming, as each root cause idea should answer the question. The team should agree on the statement of the problem and then place this question in a box at the 'head' of the fishbone.
The rest of the fishbone then consists of one line drawn across the page, attached to the problem statement, and several lines, or 'bones,' coming out vertically from the main line. These branches are labeled with different categories. The categories you use are up to you to decide. There are a few standard choices:
Table 1: Fishbone Suggested Categories
(The 4 Ps)
________________________________________ Manufacturing Industries
(The 6 Ms)
________________________________________ Process Steps
(People) Determine Customers
Once you have the fishbone completed, you are well on your way to understanding the root causes of your problem. It would be advisable to have your team prioritize in some manner the key causes identified on the fishbone. If necessary, you may also want to validate these prioritized few causes with a larger audience.
The enclosed fishbone template can be used.
For more on the same please visit: http://www.isixsigma.com/library/content/t000827.asp
25th October 2007 From India, Hyderabad
Thanks a lot for your contribution on this topic, i hope it will be still more clear for Girish to work on this topic.
Girish: I have some points for you on Absenteeism and Overtime
1) Absenteeism: for this you can consider all reasons that we have as employees to take holidays, that might give you some points.
2) Overtime: This might take place due to following reasons.....
a) High work volume
b) Lack of experienced staff
c) Insufficient staff
I hope this points are related to your topic, anyways after going through all materials that you have got from our friends you can definitely get back to me for any clarification. I will definitely do my best to help you out.
25th October 2007 From India, Bangalore
For More on that, Pls Click the following links,
91 93831 93832
26th October 2007 From India, Coimbatore
thank you guys. I have learnt so much abt the whole concept of cause and effect, really interesting ........
I am a trainer and i've learnt a lil abt the fish diagram recently during a quality session. This has added to it. I think i am still hungry.....
will keep watching this space now....
Thank you so much for all the effort .
29th October 2007 From India, Secunderabad
Please search the web for this info and you will find many examples. If you do not succeed then please post the query again giving details of where you want to conduct cause-effect analysis.
Have a nice day.
A retired academic in the UK
22nd April 2010 From United Kingdom