Cause-and-Effect Analysis through Asking Why Questions

It is necessary to identify more detailed levels of causes and organize them under related causes or categories when making fishbone diagrams. You can do this by asking a series of WHY questions.

Introduction to Cause and Effect Diagram

A cause-and-effect diagram is an analysis tool that offers a systematic way of visualizing effects and causes that create or contribute to those effects. It was developed by Japanese Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa in 1943 and is also referred to as an Ishikawa Diagram or a Fishbone Diagram because of its resemblance to Fishbone.

Benefits of Cause-and-effect Diagram

A cause-and-effect diagram is useful for identifying and organizing the known or possible causes of quality, or the lack of it. The organized structure provided by the diagram helps team members think in a very systematic and logical way. Some of the benefits of constructing a cause-and-effect diagram are:

  1. helps decide the root causes of a problem or quality characteristic in a structured approach;
  2. encourages group participation and utilizes group wisdom;
  3. uses an orderly, easy-to-read format to visualize cause-and-effect relationships;
  4. indicates possible causes of variation in a process;
  5. increases knowledge of the process by helping everyone to learn more about the factors at work and how they relate; and
  6. identifies areas where data should be collected for further study.

Cause-and-Effect Analysis through Asking Why Questions

Sometimes, it is necessary to identify increasingly more detailed levels of causes and organize them under related causes or categories. You can do this by asking a series of WHY questions.

Q: Why is the environment bad?
A: It's dirty, hot and stuffy and there is no plant and decoration.

Q: Why the business management is not beneficial?
A: The location is remote and not easily accessible. It is hard to attract more customers without promotion.

Q: Why don't the potential customers stay for long?
A: There is no lounge.

Q: Why were the products not attractive?
A: Some are not up to standard or even of poor quality.

Q: Why customers complain about service staff?
A: They lack sense of responsibility, work in low efficiency and have bad attitude.

View the template below which shows how the diagram looks when all the contributing causes that were identified by the series of why questions have been filled in. See more templates in article Featured Ishikawa (Cause and Effect) Diagram Templates.

Customer Loss Fishbone Diagram

Cause and Effect Diagram Software

Cause and Effect Diagram Software

Edraw offers a super easy way for creating cause and effect diagrams, which helps you to systematically review factors that affect or contribute to a given result. The interface is straightforward and handy, with clearly labeled buttons, an outlook of predefined shapes and a drawing page that can expand limitlessly. Edraw also provides a rather standard assortment of editing tools for resizing, rotating, grouping, , alignment and distribution. It's definitely the best assistant for your graph making.

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