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Cause & Effect Analysis: Fishbone Diagram

A cause and effect diagram is basically a pictorial display of a list. Each diagram has a large arrow pointing to the name of a problem. The lines off the large arrow represents main categories of potential causes (or solutions). Typical categories are equipment, personnel, method, materials, and environment.

You can create the categories that best fit your problem. Smaller lines, representing subcategories, are drawn off each main line. The process should be described and the problem well defined before creating this kind of diagram. Below is a fishbone diagram that still needs the subcategories added.


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