This Decision Making Tool Utilizes Something Fishy...Can You Guess What It Is..


Have you guessed it yet?



It is the fish bone diagram aka Ishikawa Diagram aka cause and effect,
In manufacturing the typical categories follow the 6M (i.e. Method, Machines, Materials, Measurements, MotherNature and Manpower)

We can translate this to the human resources with any of the following categories


1) Culture 2) Work Environment 3) Salary 4) Leadership 5) Company Vision , Mission , Values 6) Job Role/Responsibilities 7) Work Relationships 8) Learning & Development 9) Career Advancement 10) Power and Authority



🤔So how would you use the fish-bone diagram?





👉 Agree on the problem statement (also referred to as the effect). This is written at the mouth of the “fish.” Be as clear and specific as you can about the problem. Beware of defining the problem in terms of a solution (e.g., we need more of something).






👉 Agree on the major categories of causes of the problem (written as branches from the main arrow). Utilizing the categories outlined above.




  1. Brainstorm all the possible causes of the problem. Ask “Why does this happen?” As each idea is given, the facilitator writes the causal factor as a branch from the appropriate category (places it on the fishbone diagram). Causes can be written in several places if they relate to several categories.

  2. Again asks “Why does this happen?” about each cause. Write sub-causes branching off the cause branches.

  3. Continue to ask “Why?” and generate deeper levels of causes and continue organizing them under related causes or categories. This will help you to identify and then address root causes to prevent future problems.


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