On a fishbone, the effect, or central problem, is on the far right.
Affinities, which are categories of causes, branch from the spine of the
effect. Causes branch from the affinities. By default, affinities and causes
are expanded so that you can view all levels of the fishbone.
answers the following questions.
- What are the potential causes
for a particular type of defect?
- What are the process inputs
that contribute to variation in the process output?
- Gather the project team and
appropriate stakeholders for a brainstorming session.
- Determine the affinities for
the causes of the problem. For example, personnel, machines, methods,
materials, measurements, and environment are common affinities.
- For each category, list all
possible causes or process inputs. You can create secondary categories for the
primary categories, then list the causes or process inputs under the secondary
categories. Fishbone diagrams can include any type of cause you want to
- Identify the most important
You can quickly brainstorm ideas in the brainstorming list, then drag
them to the diagram to create associations between related ideas. For more
information, go to
Generate a brainstorm list.