Length: 2 Days
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Fishbone Diagram Training, Ishikawa Training

The fishbone diagram training course first explains the concept and definition of the method and then trains the students how to develop a fishbone diagram to analyze and discover the cause(s) of a problem.

Fishbone Diagram, aka Cause-and-Effect and Ishikawa Diagram, is one of the techniques used in root cause analysis. The diagram gets its name from Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, University of Tokyo in 1943, who first developed and used fishbone diagram.

fishbone diagram training

A fishbone diagram is a root cause analysis and visual way to look at cause and effect. It is a more structured RCA approach than some other tools available for brainstorming causes of a problem. The problem or effect is displayed at the head or mouth of the fish (using bones).

Participants will learn how fishbone diagram is used for cause-and-effect discovery to figure out the reason(s) for defects, variations or failures within a process, and break down root causes that potentially contribute to an effect.

The value to organizations of using a fishbone diagram is in identifying possible causes for a problem that might not otherwise be considered by directing the team to look at the categories and think of alternative causes.

Common uses of the fishbone diagram are product design and quality defect prevention to identify potential factors causing an overall effect. Each cause or reason for imperfection is a source of variation. Causes are usually grouped into major categories to identify and classify these sources of variation.

The fishbone diagram has become a popular RCA approach because:

  • It allows organizations to see all causes of a problem simultaneously
  • It presents clear visualization for presenting issues to stakeholders
  • Because it’s a highly visual brainstorming tool, it can initiate further examples of root causes
  • The fishbone diagram can quickly identify if the root cause is found multiple times in the same or different causal tree

The fishbone diagram is a root cause analysis tool that identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem.

A fishbone diagram can be used to structure a brainstorming session as it immediately sorts ideas into useful categories.

Teams generally initiate the fishbone diagram procedure through the utilization of marking pens, flipcharts or whiteboards.

It all gets kicked off by agreeing on a problem statement (effect), which is then written prominently at the center right of the flipchart or whiteboard. A box is drawn around the problem statement with horizontal arrows running to it.

What follows is a rather intense brainstorming session of the major possible reasons for causes of the problem statement. These categories could include things like materials, environment, people, methods, machines, etc.


Fishbone Diagram Training, Ishikawa Training Course Description

The most benefit of the fishbone diagram is its broad application. It can be used to identify the causes of almost any problem, from mechanical failures of a product you are designing to psychological issues with your children. Moreover, it is a more structured method than some other tools used for brainstorming causes of a problem. Other advantages to this method are:

  • Straight and easy to learn
  • Good way to focus a brainstorming session
  • Effective learning method to the whole team, through preparing a fishbone diagram
  • Focuses discussion on the target issue
  • Encourages “system thinking” via visual connections
  • Puts further assessments and corrective actions in order

The Tonex fishbone diagram seminar will help you the techniques of developing efficient and effective fishbone diagram based on the nature of the problem you are dealing with. In this short hands-on seminar, you will learn how to prioritize the potential causes of a problem and then analyze the level of impact each one has on the result. By taking this class, you will never lose control of a brainstorming session and you always can guide your team to stay focused on the current issue till the end of the session.

There are different ways to develop a fishbone diagram and conduct it. One way is to put the categories of possible causes on the “bones” of the fish, each line representing one category, such as:

  • People
  • Machine
  • Methods
  • Materials
  • Measurements
  • Mother Nature (environment)

Another way would be to begin with putting down all possible causes of the problem, and then later selecting their proper categories according to what causes were identified.

The Tonex fishbone diagram training will walk you through all the approaches and help you decided what serves your goals the best. In this one-day hands-on workshop, students can bring in their own problem statement or sample issue to create a fishbone diagram specific to their problem in the class.


The Tonex fishbone diagram training is a 2-day course designed for all the individuals who want to learn and apply simple problem analysis tools. This hands-on seminar is ideal for the senior executives, strategic leaders, managers, quality managers, product managers, manufacturing managers, R&D managers, and other supervisors and managers who lead brainstorming sessions and/or lead the problem-solving teams.

Learning Objectives

Upon the completion of this seminar, attendees are able to:

  • Understand the concept of fishbone diagram
  • Decide when to use a cause & effect diagram
  • Create a proper and effective fishbone diagram appropriate for each problem
  • Describe the advantages of a fishbone diagram in root cause analysis
  • Describe different approaches of building a fishbone diagram

Course Outline

Introduction to Fishbone Diagram

  • Fishbone Diagram: Determining Cause and Effect
  • Principles of Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
  • Fishbone Diagram and the 5 Whys
  • Fishbone Diagram and 8D
  • Purposes and applications
  • When to use a fishbone diagram
  • Definition of fishbone diagram
  • Advantages of fishbone diagram over other methods of problem-solving
  • When to use a fishbone diagram
  • Fishbone Variations: cause enumeration diagram, process fishbone, time-delay fishbone, CEDAC (cause-and-effect diagram with the addition of cards), desired-result fishbone, reverse fishbone diagram
  • Fishbone diagram procedure
  • Fishbone diagram example
  • Create a fishbone diagram

Fishbone Diagram Procedures

  • Get started
  • Directions
  • Approaches to build the “bones”
    • The 6Ms
    • The 5 Whys
    • The 4Ps
  • Steps to create a fishbone diagram
  • Stating the problem
  • Brainstorm the major categories of causes and effect
  • Methods
  • Machines (equipment)
  • People (manpower)
  • Materials
  • Measurement
  • Environment
  • How to get everybody in the team involved in brainstorming causes
  • How to complete a fishbone diagram
  • How to present a fishbone diagram

Tonex Fishbone Diagram Hands-On Workshop: Creating a Fishbone Diagram

  • Identify the problem
  • Agree on the problem
  • Brainstorm the major categories of causes
  • Brainstorming potential causes
  • Identify possible causes
  • Agree on the major categories of causes of the problem
  • Building sub-causes branching off the cause branches
  • Producing deeper levels of causes and organizing them under relevant causes or categories
  • Analyzing the final diagram
  • Present it to others
  • Analyze the mitigation strategies
  • Revisit the problem


Fishbone Diagram Training, Ishikawa Training

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