Fishbone Diagram – The One Solution To Your Business Issues

As long as there are people who collaborate to execute shared business projects, things are most likely to go wrong. However, just because you acknowledge that something has gone wrong doesn’t necessarily indicate why the issue has occurred or how to solve it.

This is why your business must perform internal process improvement to address potential roadblocks and causes. For example, a company can use fish diagram templates to identify and resolve problems from their root.

The fishbone diagram is a visual cause-and-effect analysis tool that helps the company identify potential reasons behind a problem anywhere in your projects. This article can be your friendly guide to know everything about the fishbone diagram, how it can help your business, and how to perform it.

What Is A Fishbone Diagram?

Kaoru Ishikawa, commonly known as the fishbone diagram, is a visual analysis tool that helps businesses highlight imperfections, defects, and problems in their processes.

As the name implies, the fishbone diagram is typically a fish skeleton. The issues of a particular project or company are placed on the fish’s head while the cause resides on the spinal column. Moreover, the major cause of a program branches off to the ribs. The fishbone structure can expand to as many levels as required to identify the primary cause of a specific issue.

A fishbone diagram may contain these categories:

  • Possible Issue
  • Related Cause
  • Contributing factors

In easier words, the fishbone diagram states a problem and continues to reveal different causes of that problem to identify the main reason.

When To Use Fishbone Diagram?

The cause and effect analysis tool was developed by a quality manager, Kaoru Ishikawa, in the late 60s. The basis of the fishbone diagram was to advance the quality of various business operations such as manufacturing processes, product development, customer services, etc., by addressing potential roadblocks.

Some situations where a business can leverage fishbone diagrams are:

  • Looking for possible reasons behind a problem
  • Having difficulty in comprehending the contributing elements or cause to operation failure
  • Planning new strategies through brainstorming

Steps To Create A Fishbone Diagram

Even the most successful business has some slight underlying problems. To create a fishbone diagram for your business, implement the following steps:

1. Identify A Problem

To use this analysis tool, you need to have a problem that requires a solution. The foundation of the fishbone diagram is a problem.

A good starting point to identify the problem in your particular process is to explain and understand the current situation, its influence on your business, collaborating departments, and potential reasons.

  1. State The Main Cause

Once a problem is identified, you must find the possible factors causing it. The reason behind a problem isn’t always apparent, so teams must figure out the possible causes. One helpful option is to collect information through data analysis. For example, you can simply track the submission process and evaluate the average time it takes to complete.

  1. Identify Contributing Factors

After identifying the possible causes, it’s time to connect the dots. Just like the bones that attach a fish’s abdomen to the backbone, you must address various contributing factors that might be the main cause of a problem, some of which are:

  • Team Members: Everyone included in the execution of a particular project
  • Machine and Equipment: The efficiency of instruments and equipment used to get the operation done
  • Background: What are the situations under which a particular operation is processing. The conditions include working space, organizational culture, etc.
  1. Construct The Diagram

Once you have identified the main three components, it’s time you construct them in the fishbone diagram. This can help you highlight and understand more than one cause. In business operations, finding one major problem cause isn’t all it takes to get the solution. The issues are often complex and require multiple approaches to resolve.

Hence, this last step puts every piece in place.

Why Use Fishbone Diagram For Your Business?

Described below are some prominent reasons why a business should use a fishbone diagram:

Boost Logical And Open Relationship

A fishbone diagram provides the necessary structure for any business to resolve its operational problems. However, the fishbone diagram is not limited to identifying potential causes of an underlying problem.

It can also display the influence and relationship between different elements. For example, it can address how your targeted audience interacts with a particular product.

Improve Problem-Solving And Analytical Capacity

The fishbone diagram can also be used as a mind map to conduct brainstorming sessions with your team. Everyone can contribute their thoughts about a certain problem, from product developers to marketers, to identify the main root cause. As a result, it promotes analytical thinking.

Attention To Detail

As a visual analytical tool, the fishbone diagram is an excellent means to give organizations the freedom to dig into as much detail as possible. Listing out causes and problems in a particular operation allows you to understand them from all possible aspects.


The fishbone diagram is used to identify the root cause of a specific problem. Considering its various long-term benefits, the fishbone diagram can be utilized across diverse industries, including project management, product development, manufacturing, service industry, etc.

Comments (0)
Add Comment