SmartDraw is absolutely the easiest way to make cause & effect diagrams and decision trees in just minutes. Simply select a cause and effect template, input your information, and SmartDraw does the rest, aligning everything automatically and applying professional design themes for professional-quality results every time.
Originally developed by Kaoru Ishikawa to visualize the causes of a specific problem, the cause and effect diagram has come to be known by several names: Cause and Effect, Fishbone, or Ishikawa diagram. A cause and effect diagram is one of the seven basic quality control tools and it is commonly used to determine components needed for a desired outcome.
One of the reasons cause & effect diagams are also called fishbone diagrams is because the completed diagram ends up looking like a fish's skeleton with the fish head to the right of the diagram and the bones branching off behind it to the left.
To create a cause & effect diagram, you start by writing the main issue or problem in a box that is typically to the center right portion of your drawing area. This is your fish head in the fishbone diagram. A line called the "spine" or "backbone" will extend to the left of this box. The branches that angle off the spine each represent a cause that has some effect on the main issue. Each of these branches may also contain additional sub-branches.
A cause & effect or fishbone diagram is used to examine why something happened or might happen by breaking up the issue into smaller, more easily understandable categories.