Today we’re talking Ishikawa Diagrams. Also known as Fishbone Diagrams due to their shape. No matter the name you give it, the diagram is used as a brain storming tool to trace a particular effect, issue, or problem back to its root cause(s).
By identifying the problem area and working backwards to dig up potential causes, a group of people can clearly visualize what needs to change to prevent the issue from recurring.
Let’s look at an example.
This is the basic outline that we’ll follow.
The arrows connecting the high level factors are visually similar to fish bones, which is where the name fishbone diagram stems from.
If we’re a restaurant and we’re having issues getting people to come eat in our establishment, then putting together an Ishikawa Diagram can be a good way to nail down concrete steps to take to drive business. Bring together people from the management team, the back of house (kitchen) and front of house (servers) to participate in a brain storm sesh. If you can do this on a large white board, that’s best. Otherwise notebooks work as well.
The steps to take are;
1. Get consensus on the problem, issue, or defect.
2. Put the issue in the “head” of the fish- the circle on the right side of the diagram.
3. Draw in the horizontal line and the lines for the primary categories. Those might be environment, materials, people (management), people (employees), tools, etc. Brainstorm for factors relevant to the problem being solved.
4. Brainstorm the causes of the primary factors. Ask “what causes that?” or “why does that happen?”
5. Ask those questions again to dive even deeper into the root cause.
Repeat until you have actionable items.
This is an example of what it might look like after the meeting.
Once we’re here we get to start the real work. Filtering through the ideas everyone came up with to identify the most actionable items. E.g. getting uniforms is much more actionable than changing locations. Other things to look for are ideas that come up multiple times. In this case, that might be training. It appeared in multiple locations, under people and management. The goal being better training would lead to better service which in turn would lead to customers returning multiple times.
Other considerations here would be replacing some of the kitchen equipment or typing the recipes instead of using hand written ones.
Other places a Fishbone Diagram can be used:
– Creating new product designs
– Identifying the root cause of quality defects
– Understanding why employee turnover is high
– Getting to know what is important to users and why it matters
– Solving problems involving multiple departments
– Identifying leverage points to super charge your efforts
Let me know how you’ve used Ishikawa Diagrams on Twitter: @Quinn_Hanson22
|Athlete of the WeekNico Vink. A professional mountain bike rider that was the featured rider in, “From the Ash.” The four minute video should absolutely be watched as soon as possible. Note, no live forest was burned in this video. “From the Ash” is the sequal to 2010’s “Life Cycles” by Ryan Gibb- a masterpiece in mountain bike film making. This new video is every bit as fun as it is intense. Nico’s Instagram|
Best Tweet of the Week
Amazon really will ship anything, anywhere, by any means.
Shocking Fact of the Week
In 2010,filmmaker Meghan Eckman released a documentary, “The Parking Lot Movie” that portrayed the life of a few parking attendants in Virginia. Yes, a movie about parking lot attendants exists.
Set in a corner parking lot near the University of Virginia, the film depicts what life looks like when you control the parking, deal with drunken frat boys, and get to make up the rules of customer service on the fly. Definitely check out the trailer here.
Article of the Week
The Munger Operating System: How to Live a Life That Really Works
by Farnam Street.
– To get what you want, deserve what you want.
– Without lifetime learning you people are not going to do very well.
– It doesn’t help you just to know them enough just so you can give them back on an exam and get an A. You have to learn these things in such a way that they’re in a mental latticework in your head and you automatically use them for the rest of your life.
– Learn the all-important concept of assiduity: Sit down and do it until it’s done.