Ishikawa diagram: what is it, how to do it and when to use it?

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Ishikawa diagram: what is it, how to do it and when to use it?

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Facing problems in the company is common and part of everyday life. The manager's objective, however, must always be minimize these situations and work around them in the best possible way, and the Ishikawa diagram it is an option in this challenge.

An effective way to avoid inconveniences or resolve them is to rely on the tools available on the market to manage various sectors of the company. With them, it is possible to find the initial cause and structure the solution quickly.

One of these tools is the Ishikawa diagram, also known as fishbone diagram.

In this article, we will talk about this technique that can be used by companies in all sectors and that was one of the first instruments to Quality management.

In the content, we will cover everything about Ishikawa Diagram, highlighting each of the points below:

  • what is the Ishikawa diagram?
  • how did it come about?
  • when and by whom should the tool be used?
  • what are the advantages of using it?
  • what is the correct way to use the diagram?
  • how to make Ishikawa diagram.

In the article “7 management tools that every company needs to use” we talked about a few more management tools. Check out! <<

What is the Ishikawa diagram?

Theoretically, every problem has a directly related cause and the object of study of this content is to prove this question.

The Ishikawa diagram is a tool used to analyze the root cause of a problem, that is, the initial trigger error the situation. Also known as the Cause and Effect Diagram, the Ishikawa Diagram is a method that analyzes all phases of a process.

Through it, it is more guaranteed that no detail is overlooked, therefore, the effectiveness of the assessment of the cause will be more assertive.

How did the Ishikawa diagram come about?

The Ishikawa diagram is named after its creator, Kaoru Ishikawa, Japanese chemical engineer, one of the best known personalities in the Quality sector.

Ishikawa was so important to the area that, in 1993, the American Society for Quality created a medal in his honor. He left, in addition to the cause and effect diagram, a great contribution to Quality, speaking worldwide.

It was Ishikawa who brought 7 Quality tools who are allies of professionals in the sector to this day.

As a great scholar of the topic, the engineer believed that every consequence (in this case the problem), has a cause and the Ishikawa diagram came to help find that relationship.

When and who should use the Ishikawa diagram?

The fishbone diagram can be used by all companies, from all sectors, and must be adapted for each situation.

When Ishikawa created the method, it had the main objective that it be accessible to all employees of a company.

In this way, the Ishikawa diagram can be applied to problems found in the factory or in the administration of an office, for example.

The ideal is that the Ishikawa diagram is used whenever there is a problem that directly impacts the product or service offered.

If you have a large amount of complaints about service of its collaborators or that a defect is constantly found in his pieces, this is a time to choose the method.

Despite this, it can also help to optimize processes that help in situations that are not always considered a problem, but that hinder the business.

For example, the low volume of new contracts may seem normal, but by learning how to make an Ishikawa diagram it is possible to understand the reason for the errors and correct them.

Therefore, through the proper use of the graph, the company may have more profits style=”font-weight: 400;”>.

Read too: How do I increase my company's revenue?

What is the correct way to use the Ishikawa diagram?

First of all, it is important to understand what an Ishikawa diagram is and what it should be a support tool for maintaining quality.

Therefore, it is unlikely to be used to prevent disorders, since its main objective is to find the cause of the problem.

The correct way to use it then is after identifying something wrong in your company's processes, be it the final product or not.

This way, we have the starting point to create your Cause and Effect Diagram.

When Ishikawa created the diagram, he understood that all the problems of a company were related to six main items, the 6M's.

  • Method – such as lack of processes and quality control;
  • Machine – defective or operating below productivity;
  • Measure – lack of monitoring and metrics to analyze the work;
  • Environment – excessive or dry rain;
  • Material – low quality raw material;
  • Labor – lack of training or productivity.

For each of these six points it is essential to ask yourself what can be the their impact on the final result.

It is worth mentioning that, depending on the area in which your company operates, not all items need to be analyzed, as they may not be part of the business routine. That is why it is important to learn how to make Ishikawa Diagram.

As we mentioned earlier, the tool is also known by the name of herringbone diagram, by its format, since the visualization of the situation as a whole, was one of the points considered by Ishikawa.

The graph was developed as follows:

An arrow in the middle, which shows the problem at the end, inside a rectangle. Above and below are listed the items that are related to the situation that needs to be analyzedforming the structure of a fish bone. As shown in the image below.

ishikawa diagram

What are the advantages of using it?

In addition to better visualizing the problem and its causes, use the Ishikawa diagram allows better management of your company's affairs. It is also a way to continuously improve processes and achieve better results.

Another positive point of using the causes and effects diagram is to be a work totally carried out with a focus on a given situation. It can also be used in conjunction with other quality control.

Another difference is that there is no need to invest in any platform or technology to use the concept, which has been disseminated throughout the world since 1943. All you need is paper, pen and dedication.

But of course, if you prefer to have everything recorded, there are worksheets that can help you in this process, organizing everything about Ishikawa Diagram.

How to make Ishikawa Diagram? Step by step

Now that you know what the Ishikawa diagram is for, let's list the step by step to start your graph in your company.

  1. Identify and define the problem that will be analyzed.
  2. Summon the team involved in the issue for the realization of a brainstorm (brainstorm). It is at this point that all points related to the problem will be discussed.
  3. Have a responsible person for organizing the conversation and consolidating all the information that is spoken in a meeting. This collaborator will be in charge of addressing each of the 6M's provided by Ishikawa, as long as it applies to the problem in question.
  4. Draw the diagram, according to the model above, in a location that is easy to see for everyone present. This helps you to see the source of the problem more easily.
  5. List the causes found in each category and analyze one at a time. Understand what led each of them to happen.
  6. One of these points is likely to have a greater impact on the problem being analyzed. Therefore, it is important to rank the order of importance.
  7. With the causes analyzed, find better processes and study solutions to resolve each of the points.

Assembling the diagram

Now let's see the steps above with a simple example of how to make an Ishikawa diagram.

  1. The problem: production of items below normal.
  2. Causes: When bringing together the team of managers and responsible for production, possible causes of the problem were identified in 4 categories:
  • Method – 8-hour scale, with machine stopped for the remaining time.
  • Machine – defect in 1 of the 10 equipment available.
  • Material – new batch of raw material came with low quality, soon breaks more easily and is discarded.
  • Manpower – side conversations during working hours.

With this information, analyzed during the brainstorm as a team, the Ishikawa diagram would look like this visually:

ishikawa diagram

From the graph, the managers they can see that the problem has more than one cause that needs to be resolved. Thus, it is necessary to analyze what the priority is and seek solutions for each one of them.

Ishikawa diagram: simple and effective

As you can see, putting the Ishikawa diagram concept into practice is simple, requiring only dedication and organization of ideas within the chart. In addition to a lot of creativity to solve each problem.

So don’t waste time and start to use the tool to improve the quality of the service or product that your company offers.

Other areas of the company may also benefit from an Ishikawa Diagram and other management tools.

Implement new ways of manage costs and expenses can help your company do better financial management of the business.

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Talk to a specialist and discover even more gains that your company can make by offering a benefit such as HR Consultants UKy.

Did you like this quality control content? Then share it on your social networks, so that your co-workers also get to know this management tool.

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