Fishbone diagrams, also called Ishikawa, helps for the cause&effect analysis, maybe during brainstorming. It is a visual way to take notes during the meeting.


In image1, you can look at an example of it; as you can see in the head of the diagram, you state the problem to assess. On the top of each bone, you write the top causes, and under each of them, you can write some lesser reasons linked to the top one.

Fishbone diagram
Image1: Fishbone diagram
Example: We brainstorm the problem of estimating a new project that takes too long. We define the primary causes during the brainstorming, like people, equipment, etc. Under each top reason, for example, People, we state the linked causes are adding more detail. For instance, about people we lack training and need more people for that work.

Some observation about it are:

  • Focus on the cause, not just solutions;
  • Go over the superficial levels to find root causes. For this reason, we have the secondary causes because we want to add more details;
  • Asking when to stop: in most time 5-6 bone are enough.

For the exam you need to remember that:

  • Fishbone diagram is used for the cause&effect analysis to come to the root cause of a problem;
  • It’s important not to stop on the superficial levels to find the root causes.
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