Cause and Effect Diagram Examples

A fishbone diagram visualizes the potential causes of an effect, problem, or event. You can make cause and effect diagrams just like these examples in minutes using SmartDraw!
Try SmartDraw FREE and create your own cause and effect diagrams!

You'll find a few examples of cause and effect diagrams on this page.

These diagrams are known by many names including cause and effect diagram, Ishikawa diagram, Herringbone diagram, fishbone diagram, and Fishikawa.

Ishikawa diagrams were first created by Kaoru Ishikawa who used them as quality control tools in his shipyards to manage processes in the 1960s. Now, they're an essential quality control tool.

Start any cause and effect diagram with the main problem or issue you're trying to resolve. A line called the "spine" or "backbone", hence fishbone diagram, will extend to the left of your main problem with branches that angle off to the side. These branches will contain specific issues or just large categories of potential causes. These causes can be generated using a brainstorming session or hard data.

A Cause and Effect Diagram Example

A Cause and Effect Diagram Example

You can make a cause and effect diagram just like these fishbone examples in minutes using SmartDraw!

More Cause and Effect Diagram Examples

Cause and Effect Diagram Example: Car Failure

An example cause and effect diagram which depicts possible causes of a car failure.

Fishbone Diagram Example: Product Failure

An example flowchart which depicts a human resources hiring process.

Ishikawa Diagram Example: Rejected Parts

This ishikawa diagram example depicts what could cause parts to become rejected.

Cause and Effect Diagram Example: The 6M's

6Ms cause and effect diagram example used in the manufacturing industry. It depicts potential quality control issues in 6 categories:

  • Man: training, qualifications, experience, certification, fatigue, stress, management, judgement
  • Machine: maintenance, inspections, programming, proper testing, software or hardware updates
  • Material: raw material, consumables, and information
  • Method: process, testing, control, design, instructions
  • Measurement: calibration
  • Mother Nature: environmental conditions like noise, humidity, and temperature

Sometimes two additional categories are separated out: "Maintenance" and "Management" creating an 8M's cause and effect diagram.

Cause and Effect Diagram Example - 6Ms of Manufacturing

Fishbone Diagram Example: The 8P's

The 8Ps fishbone diagram example is often used in Administration or Marketing. This type of fishbone diagram collects potential causes in 8 distinct categories:

  • Product (or service)
  • Price
  • People
  • Place
  • Promotion
  • Procedures
  • Processes
  • Policies

Fishbone Diagram Example - The 8Ps of Administration

Ishikawa Diagram Example: The 4 S's

This is another example of an Ishikawa diagram used in the service industry. It visualizes causes in 4 categories:

  • Surroundings
  • Suppliers
  • Systems
  • Skills

Alternatively, "Safety" is sometimes added to this as the 5th "S".

Ishikawa Diagram Example: The 4 Ss of Service

Once the diagram has been completed, analyze the information to come to a solution.

Discover how you can make cause and effect diagrams like these examples.
Try SmartDraw FREE.