What is: Cause and Effect Diagram, Ishikawa Diagram, Fishbone diagram or 6M diagram are the names given to the diagram drawn up by chemical engineer Kaoru Ishikawa in 1943, which proposes to graphically represent the processes of a project to facilitate management and Quality control.
Why do: With it, it is possible to greater efficiency in detecting problems of the company and better condition to act on them. In the structure of the Cause and Effect Diagram, the possible causes of a problem are given six different types of classification in a hierarchical way. It is one of the most important management tools available.
Components of the Fishbone Diagram
The causes can come from the following components:
With these 6Ms, it is possible to have a panorama about the different causes of a disharmony in a process and then, one can act in an isolated or collective way, starting from the point where the identification of the problem occurred. This is very effective in saving costs and time as well as charting accurately on the effects of each problem on the quality of products and the actions taken.
In large part, this type of diagram is elaborated by the whole team of agents that compose a certain process, based on a study of each variation reported by each responsible of each sector.
How to draw up a Cause and Effect Diagram
To elaborate a Cause and Effect Diagram, some steps must be taken:
- Without using vague or abstract words, point in the diagram the problem to be analyzed, gathering information as completely as possible;
- Join a team who can help you assemble the diagram and report the data pertinent to the specific problem in order to start a brainstorming session;
- Put the information in an orderly and summarized way, detecting those that are not necessary in the process;
- Draw the diagram based on the 6M components already mentioned.
What should be included in a Cause and Effect Diagram
The pattern of the diagram is composed of the following structure:
- Header: with the title, authors and date of elaboration;
- Effect: containing the quality indicator and the problem to be investigated, usually on the right side of the sheet;
- The Central Axis: in the form of a horizontal arrow pointing to the Effect, occupying the center of the leaf;
- Category: indicating the set of factors of greater relevance that have relation with the effect. They must start from the central axis and be inclined;
- Cause: described in a categorized way to analyze the possible influence it exerts on an effect; the arrows are drawn in the form of horizontal lines pointing to the arrow in the category;
- Sub-cause: potential of the cause.
With this tool, you can assemble a spreadsheet model or form very clearly, a competent chart to identify and solve problems, keeping as a reference for future actions.
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