fishbone diagram

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An Ishikawa or fishbone diagram


The shape of such diagrams is reminiscent of the skeleton of a fish.



fishbone diagram (plural fishbone diagrams)

  1. An Ishikawa diagram.
    • 1995, Jerome S. Arcaro, Quality in Education: An Implementation Handbook, Delray Beach, Fla.: St. Lucie Press, ISBN 978-1-884015-58-8, page 133:
      The cause-and-effect diagram, or fishbone diagram, is helpful in determining the root causes and effects within a school or district's processes and systems. It can be used to identify the components in the process that are responsible for an existing problem.
    • 2000, Donald E. Lighter; Douglas C. Fair, Principles and Methods of Quality Management in Health Care, Gaithersburg, Md.: Aspen Publishers, ISBN 978-0-8342-1861-1, page 59:
      Root Cause diagrams provide insight into reasons and solutions for process problems. Kaoru Ishikawa introduced another method of evaluating root causes in the 1960s, often nicknamed the “Fishbone diagram” because of its appearance.
    • 2001, David Wealleans, The Organizational Measurement Manual, Aldershot, Hampshire: Gower Publishing, ISBN 978-0-566-08349-5, page 57:
      It is not possible to mention the topic of cause and effect without dealing with fishbone diagrams (also known as cause-and-effect diagrams, or Ishikawa diagrams). This is a visual aid to some forms of thinking created and made popular by a renowned management guru by the name of Ishikawa (who is also attributed to the original thinking that eventually produced the ‘five Ms and an E’ concept). [] The effect, or desired result, is placed as statement at one end of a line, representing the main backbone, then categories of activities, conditions or occurrences that are likely to contribute to it are drawn as main bones radiating from the backbone. More detailed items are then drawn from the main bones, and so on.
    • 2008, Barbara A. Cleary; Sally J. Duncan, Thinking Tools for Kids: An Activity Book for Classroom Learning, rev. edition, Milwaukee, Wis.: ASQ Quality Press, ISBN 978-0-87389-737-2, page 49:
      Tommy decided to use a fishbone diagram that he had learned about at school. The tool is called a fishbone diagram because it looks like the skeleton of a fish. The purpose of a fishbone diagram, his teacher said, is to get to the main causes of something. This can be something either good or bad. A fishbone diagram can help to figure out why a process works well, like a class play. It could also help to explain outcomes like grades. It is a way to look at a process.