There are a number of management tools used in an organization and in the management of projects. One of such tools is the Cause and Effect Diagrams. It is also called Ishikawa or Fishbone Diagram. Most organizations make use of the Cause and Effect Diagrams. A Cause and Effect Diagram is a management tool that helps identify, sort and display possible causes of a specific problem or quality characteristics. It graphically illustrates the relationship between a giving outcome and all factors that influence the outcome. In simple terms, it’s a diagram that identifies possible causes for an effect or problem.
Problems exist in organizations and the Cause and Effect Diagram helps us identify those problems. These are the steps that can be followed to construct a Cause and Effect Diagram.
Identify the Problem:
Identifying the problems is the first step in constructing the diagram. One way most people do that is to write down all possible causes of the problem. Questions you can ask yourself include what is the problem, when does it occur, where it occurs and who is involved.
Identify Major Factors:
Out of the list you created, you try to identify the most important factors that is causing the effect.
Work on one factor at a time, identifying all possible causes till you walk through all the factors. Add this causes horizontally as the fish bones and label them.
Below is an example of a Cause and Effect Diagram
The importance of the Cause and Effect Diagram is, it helps us identify the cause and effect of problems facing an organization and a project.