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Fishbone Diagram

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What is a Fishbone Diagram?

A Fishbone Diagram is a structured brainstorming tool designed to assist improvement teams in coming up with potential root causes for an undesirable effect. Its name derives from its resemblance to the bones of a fish. It is also known as a Cause & Effect Diagram or an Ishikawa Diagram after its creator.

Causes are often grouped into major categories, which are classically defined as the 6 Ms (or the 6 Ps):

  • Man/Mind Power (People)
  • Method (Process)
  • Machines (Program)
  • Materials (Product)
  • Measurements (Policy)
  • Milieu/Mother Nature (Place)

This tool is used in tandem with The 5 Whys.

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