Quality Management has gained utmost significance in today’s business. It is of paramount importance for organizations to deliver a defect free product to customers, built in the most efficient manner, thereby ensuring customer satisfaction. This in turn ensures maintaining both the top lines and bottom lines of businesses.
Cause and Effect Diagram, alternatively also known as Fishbone Diagram, was conceived by Japanese Quality Management Guru Ishikawa-san. This technique is a very simple yet one of the most effective techniques and tool for determining root causes of various problems/defects we face in production or in the projects.
Cause and effect diagram has become now a very commonly used technique for analysing any kind of organizational problems, not necessarily only quality related problems.
The fishbone diagram is a visual way of analysing and capturing the cause and effect. It looks like a fishbone. The mouth or head of the fish depicts the problem, and various bones depict the possible root causes. Root cause analysis very often is done as a brainstorming activity involving the team members. The team engages in analysing the each of the problems/defects trying to find the root causes of these problems. This needs to be done in a structured manner and it is important to understand all the causes contributing to the defect or the problem.
The above diagram presents a sample example of a cause and effect diagram. Below are the steps which are to be followed for using this technique effectively.
In order to make this technique effective, we must involve and engage all parties involved in the entire process.
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