Cause and Effect Diagram

Cause and Effect diagrams sometimes called fishbone diagrams or Ishikawa (name of the developer).
Models casual relationships that occur.
Identifies what is causing what effect.
Will identify multiple causes if they exist – critical for understanding complex situation. Will also identify feedback loops.
Diagram focuses on causes rather than effect.
Start with definition of problem and then ask why is it happening. For each answer ask “why?” again to build up picture of different factors influencing performance.
Often five levels of “why” is deemed limit of usefulness.


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