Fishbone Diagram template
Visualize the potential causes of a problem, to solve it collaboratively.
About the Fishbone Diagram template
The Fishbone Diagram template (also called an Ishikawa Diagram template) can be used to explore the potential causes of a particular issue, enabling your team to find a solution more effectively. After brainstorming some ideas, you can sort them into groupings to hone in on the root cause of the problem. A Fishbone Diagram template is particularly useful when you must rely on experience and ideas rather than quantitative data.
Keep reading to learn more about the Fishbone Diagram template.
What is a Fishbone Diagram?
A Fishbone Diagram is also known as a “cause and effect diagram” or an Ishikawa Diagram (named after its inventor, Japanese quality control expert Kaoru Ishikawa). Teams can use a Fishbone Diagram to visualize all possible causes of a problem, zero in on the underlying cause, and anticipate the consequences with effective analysis.
4 benefits of a Fishbone Diagram template
1. Focus on a cause rather than symptoms
Using a Fishbone Diagram template helps teams truly get to the heart of why something is occurring, instead of simply describing the situation and mistaking secondary causes for the root cause.
2. See all potential causes at a glance
A Fishbone Diagram displays multiple causes, ordered logically, in a visual manner. All stakeholders can explore and understand how they fit together holistically.
3. Create a prompt for brainstorming
Many teams use a Fishbone Diagram as a jumping-off point for a structured brainstorming exercise to generate a large number of potential ideas about what the root cause could be.
4. Focus everyone around the root cause
Instead of identifying the causes of a problem independently, a Fishbone Diagram enables the team to focus on working together, analyzing, and prioritizing different possibilities until they land on the root cause.
How to create a Fishbone Diagram template in 4 steps
1. Define the problem statement
Create a statement that explains exactly what the problem is and how and when it occurs. This should be added to the head of your diagram as the fish’s “head.” Make sure your team agrees on how the problem is being defined before you dive into exploring causes.
2. Identify main root causes
What are the main root causes of your problem? For example, if you’re trying to diagnose a problem with your software product, you might want to look at users, software, or marketing. For a physical product, you might include people, methods, materials, machines, or the environment. Try to keep the number of main root causes low.
3. List out the root causes of the main causes
Once you have your main root causes, it’s time to brainstorm and list out all of the individual causes for each main cause. Vote to elect a few of them. These become the “bones” of the fish, which you can use as a basis for diagnosing the root cause of your problem. Some groups use the Fishbone Diagram maker with 5 Whys to systematically dig deeper and uncover new potential causes.
4. Agree on next steps and outcome
Write down actions and responsibilities and what are the following steps to mitigate your problem. It helps to establish deadlines and assign tasks to your team members. This template can work as a cause and effect diagram that sheds light on a problem and brings insights.
How do you make a fishbone diagram?
Start by defining the problem statement and placing it on the right-hand side of the fishbone diagram. Then, identify potential causes of the problem, and categorize these causes. Finally, list out each cause as the “bones” of the fish.
How is a fishbone diagram used?
A fishbone diagram is a tool for root cause analysis that is used to brainstorm the root of a problem. It’s used for problem-solving and preemptively diagnosing issues before they are manifested to mitigate damage.
Where can I draw a fishbone diagram?
You can either use our fishbone diagram template or draw your fishbone diagram on Miro’s whiteboard, an infinite canvas. If you want inspiration for your fishbone diagram, you can also access more templates in Miroverse.
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