How Do You Use the Fishbone Tool for Root Cause Analysis?


Quick Answer

Use a Fishbone Diagram to conduct root cause analysis on an issue by creating a section for the head of the fish that includes the problem under analysis, then make four separate lines that correspond to different potential causes that contribute to the matter, which are the bones. Complete the process by identifying the sources for each initial cause until the root cause of the problem is clear.

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Full Answer

A Fishbone Diagram is the visual component of a concept known as Cause and Effect Analysis, or an Ishikawa Analysis, that resembles the skeletal structure of a fish and allows the user to conduct a deep investigation into the potential causes of a problem in order to find its source. Begin the process by identifying a specific problem, such as a lamp failing to turn on, and place it in a box on the right side of the page, acting as the head of the diagram.

Proceed by drawing a straight horizontal light to the right for the backbone of the fish, from which you must make four arrows to represent the individual bones of the diagram. Each bone needs to be a potential cause of the problem, such as failing to pay the electricity bill or a broken light bulb. The remainder of the analysis involves examining each potential cause, listing contributing factors or other deeper causes, in order to find the root cause of the problem.

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