One of the best and practical ways to explain the cause and effect of a process is through the Ishikawa Diagram. It has been used by a number of researchers and product developers to provide insight for bosses and clients. You don’t have to give me voucher codes, special offers & coupons in exchange for this information because I am sharing it for free. Use it wisely.

Cause and effect diagram

This diagram goes by a lot of names. It is also called fishbone diagram because it looks like a fishbone. Another name for it is Ishikawa diagram.

It was developed by Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa. This cause and effect diagram is being used by thousands of companies who look for problems in their systems and develop new product designs.

How to use the fishbone diagram

You must first know the problem that you are solving. In this case, you aim to create a new product design. You may want to start at the current product that your company has. What are its strengths? What are its flaws? How can it be improved? What part of the product should you consider modifying?

After making a list of these things, you can now draw the fishbone. The head contains the problem that you want to do research on. The straight lines or the bones of the fish pertains to the causes of the problem.

You have 5Ms that you need to consider. These are the machine, man, method, material, and measurement. Machine refers to problems with regard to operation, the right use of equipment, or the possibility of being obsolete.

Man refers to knowledge and physicality. Method mentions the step-by-step procedures which may be the root cause of the problem. Material pertains to information or raw materials. And measurement refers to the actual environment.

Choose the four possible causes of the problem. Then rank them based on particular criteria. Assess them based on how likely it is to be the major source of the problem. And then ask yourself how difficult it is to solve it.

Create a table cross comparing these causes. You may prioritize the top cause and then work your way down to the other causes in order to innovate your product.

4 thoughts on “Applying the Cause and Effect Diagram for your Product Design

  1. I was very glad to have seen and read your article. This is the solution that I want to use for my problem. My boss wanted me to present a new product concept at our meeting next week. Using this diagram will help me with my demonstration. Thanks to you!

  2. You have a great mind. Very insightful in mentioning Ishikawa Diagram to design my product. When I was first reading your article, I thought that I heard this term from before. Then I remembered that it was from my business class in college. Who knew that I will actually use it!

  3. Cause and effect is a process that is simple to do but very hard to apply in particular situations. I work in one of the top manufacturing companies today. Cause and effect assessment is challenging to use if there are a lot of variables and factors affecting the results or end product.

  4. Many people standardize all business models as if this techniques are applicable to all. I think every business should be considered unique and should be addressed individually.

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