Fishbone Diagram Problem Solving

A fishbone diagram is a problem-solving tool used mainly to seek multi-level solutions to complex problems. While it’s well documented that the purpose of this diagram is to specify the cause and effect of a business problem, it’s important to understand how Fishbone Diagrams specifically catalyze problem-solving. In this article, we will walk through fishbone diagram problem solving and highlight the most important advantages

Why Is Fishbone Diagram Problem Solving Important?

The Fishbone diagram considers more comprehensive solutions while solving specific problems. It involves brainstorming sessions where various groups integrate their perspectives from diverse areas of thought. This template attempts to bring order and procedure to cause and effect, making it unique to the problem-solving process.

It makes it easy for all the participants to identify the main problem and issue and concentrate on the question across different possible triggers. Fishbone diagram helps differentiate the causes and reasons for an underlying problem and lets you figure out all the possible solutions.

Usage of a Fishbone Diagram

The Fishbone diagram can be used as a problem-solving technique while trying to fix specific problems or identify the root cause of an issue.

Here are some fundamental Fishbone Diagram problem solving applications:

  • Manufacturing: Discovering the root cause of a manufacturing issue with the help of brainstorming and documenting the cause and effect relationship can help expose all the potential factors affecting the manufacturing process.
  • Product marketing: Discovering the possible factors contributing to your company’s marketing campaign in the competitive marketplace can highlight the areas for improvement, gaps in the market, and current errors. 
  • Services: The main cause of a supply chain problem is usually within the service delivery process, so ensuring that these issues are handled at their core is critical to your business’s success.

How to Use a Fishbone Diagram for Problem Solving?

There are seven steps to solve a problem with the help of the Fishbone Diagram:

Explain the reason behind the Fishbone Diagram

Explain to your team that the diagram will help discover different impact areas where solutions will help fix your business problem.

Draw the Diagram

Draw the Fishbone Diagram’s pattern and shapes on your whiteboard. You can also use diagramming software tools to ease approachability. If the remote attendants have to do this exercise, you can quickly build it in Fresco and display your computer.   

Formulate a simple problem statement

Write down statements at the top of the page or above where the diagram will be drawn. This problem statement ensures everybody has the same idea of the problem you are tackling.

Select the major categories

Major categories are selected based on different criteria such as methods, policies, people, and software tools.

Identify the possible causes within each category

Team members may get into a brainstorming session and identify factors that fall into a specific category, then organize and put them into their particular sections. One can either go category-wise or come up with ideas and decide their category later.

Go deeper to describe sub-causes

If you feel something can or will be broken into sub-points, you can take your analysis one step further and break causes into sub-causes. 

Record results

One can bring the work in, capture, and log the progress, but one might need it later, so your team should not miss the exercise’s importance at any cost. So, it is advised to keep all the work records for future use.


When looking for a specific solution, fishbone diagram problem solving is the best way to address issues at the root. If you liked this article, make sure you check out our other fishbone diagram content, including articles about the applications and use guide for fishbone diagrams.


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