Fishbone RCA


Organizing your team with this Fishbone Diagram template in your next Root Cause Analysis is a systematic way to identify and solve problems. Also known as the Ishikawa diagram, this technique provides a visual approach to understanding the root causes of complicated issues.

Overview of the Root Cause Analysis: Fish Diagram Template

The Fish Diagram is a visual representation of causal relationships, designed to uncover the underlying factors that contribute to a problem. Named after its resemblance to a fish's skeleton, the diagram segments a problem’s causes into different categories, such as People, Process, Equipment, Materials, Environment, and Management. By mapping out these categories, the Fish Diagram offers a holistic view of the issue, helping your team to identify the root cause.

Benefits of the Fish Diagram Template

  • Visual clarity: The Fish Diagram presents causes and their relationships visually, which facilitates a clear understanding of complex issues for individuals and teams.

  • Comprehensive analysis: The segmented categories ensure that all potential causes are explored, preventing oversight and leading to a thorough analysis.

  • Interdisciplinary collaboration: The diagram's structure encourages cross-functional collaboration, bringing together diverse expertise to address the issue.

  • Identifying root causes: By systematically mapping causes, the Fish Diagram enables the identification of the central issue, resulting in targeted solutions.

How to use the Fish Diagram Methodology

  1. Define the problem: Begin by clearly defining the problem you're analyzing. This precise definition serves as a reference point throughout the process.

  2. Work within the Fish Diagram: Attach your problem statement at the "head" of the fish within the template. Then, select relevant categories to label the "bones" extending from the spine (People, Process, etc.).

  3. Brainstorm causes: Collaboratively brainstorm potential causes within each category, attaching them as branches to the corresponding diagonal lines.

  4. Analyze relationships: Evaluate how causes within different categories might interact or contribute to the problem, adding sub-branches as needed.

  5. Identify the root cause: Examine the diagram to identify the underlying factors that appear most influential. This will help you pinpoint the root cause.

  6. Develop solutions: Based on the root cause, devise strategies to address the issue effectively. Ensure that solutions address the specific categories and sub-causes highlighted on the diagram.

Final thoughts

Whether you're working on a manufacturing issue, a project delay, the solution to a change request or a customer service concern, the Fish Diagram empowers you to see the bigger picture and take targeted action. With this Fish Diagram, you can steer your problem-solving efforts toward effective and lasting solutions with your team.


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