Fishbone Diagram Templates

Here are 42 Free Fishbone Diagram Templates to help you prepare your own Fishbone Diagram in less time and with least efforts.

A simplified yet universal tool that is used to analyze actual cause of a problem is commonly known as fishbone diagram. Around the world, it’s also referred to as Ishikawa or cause and effect diagram. This is a very important tool for companies and organizations that help to understand the causes behind a problem and different scenarios to solving the issue. Fishbone diagram has the ability to be used in any business for any kind of problem and the best thing about this problem solving tool is that it’s equally effective for top management as well as for ground employees that deal actually deal with the problem.

Importance of Fishbone Diagrams:

When there is a problem in a company, everyone has their own opinion about what is causing this problem and what are the important steps for eliminating it. The problem is that unless all of these causes and solutions are put together, there is no way for the decision maker to actually analyze the one and only cause and solution. That’s the beauty of the fishbone diagram that it allows management to put together their minds, decide on one or as many as possible root causes of a problem, discuss possible solutions and then put everything in one place to see what decisions should be made.


Guidelines to create Fishbone Diagram:

Stating the Actual Problem:

When you take a look at a fishbone diagram, it actually looks like skeleton of a fish. This diagram is made from right to left and the problem under discussion is written in a box in the right side which indicates the head of the fish. Then there is a vertical line with an arrow pointing towards the box and this is the backbone of this diagram around which all the causes are listed. There can be as many as needed words to fully explain the problem.

Main Branches of the Structure:

On the backbone of the diagram, there are multiple arrows pointing towards upper or bottom left corner. These are the branches that indicate each of the very basic cause of problem. Common causes that are written in fishbone diagrams include; supply chain, environment, workforce, company policies, political situation, and new trend in market or change in consumer behavior.

Sub Branches of each Branch:

Once above parts of the structure are created, and then it’s time to combine everyone’s head in the game and think of every possible reason or cause of the problem. As each of the participants gives various causes, they will go on sub branches for each of the main branches. Here the basic rule is that each cause should be in the relevant category and if there more multiple categories for a cause, it should appear in each of those categories or sections.

Giving Cause for Each Cause:

This is where a fishbone diagram gets interesting because now is the time to actually dig deeper and see what the cause behind every cause is. By this time, you will be seeing dozens of causes for a problem which means now you will go after root cause of each of the key cause. In the fishbone diagram, these sub causes will go above each cause making the diagram to have smaller bones or branches.

Pointing towards Solutions:

The purpose of the whole fishbone diagram is to find the root causes of a problem and get suggestions on how to solve it which means the diagram will be incomplete if there are no initial solutions. As soon all the possible causes are listed on the sub branches, ask the participants to think for solution of each of the cause and write it above or below each cause on the diagram.


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