Six Sigma Cause and Effect Diagram

February 23rd, 2012

The Six Sigma methodology is used in business to view various processes and determine problems as well as steps that can be taken for improvement. Common problems that businesses may run into often include financial troubles, high rate of attrition among employees, inconsistent deliveries, and decrease in consumer demand. Businesses utilize cause and effect diagrams to analyze these problems and identify solutions, with the main issue being present at the top of the diagram.

It is important to name the cause and effect diagram. The title should clearly reflect the main problem under analysis by the business and should be short and precise. All team members should be in agreement on this issue before continuing on with the diagram. Once the team has a clear picture of the direction of the diagram, they should write down the main issue or problem and circle it; that is the focus of the cause and effect diagram.


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Cause and Effect Diagram

April 29th, 2009

Solving problems is practically impossible without taking into account many factors and their cause-and-effect relationships between them. Visualizing those relationships is even more helpful when attempting to brainstorm define root causes and conceive possible solutions.  The purpose of the cause and effect diagram is to provide visualization of all possible causes of a specific problem.

Cause and Effect Diagram Creator - Kaoru Ishikawa Kaoru Ishikawa created the Cause and Effect Diagram in 1943 to do just this in order for Kawasaki Steel Works engineers to understand how factors related to their work might be sorted and associated. Because of his involvement in the creation of the cause and effect diagram, these charts conveying all-too-important relationships  between seemingly disconnected elements in a system are frequently referred to as Ishikawa diagrams. In some circles, they are also referred to as fishbone diagrams, since at certain stages of their drawing, they look a bit like, well, fish bones.

How to Use Cause and Effect Diagrams

Cause and Effect Diagram ExampleFew quality-related problems are easily resolved. More frequently, various causes intermix in unique and complicated ways to produce the final negative impact upon quality one wishes to improve. The use of a cause-and-effect diagram allows you to:

  • Define and display the fundamental causes, related causes and root causes that impact a system, process or outcome this process is frequently referred to as fishbone analysis,
  • Provide the focal point to discuss alternatives and come to a joint conclusion on appropriate remediation,
  • Understand  the potential interrelationships of various causes which ultimately lead to the symptomatic defects or noted issues,
  • Measure and Improve process flows and during in the Lean Six Sigma methodology,
  • Provide a focus for Kaizen Blitzes in order to focus on the highest value efforts. Read the rest of this entry »

Cause and Effect Blog

March 28th, 2009

Here’s where I start writing about the cause and effect diagram so that people can lean more about it.