Using Fishbone (Ishikawa) Diagram for Strategy & Planning

The Fishbone Diagram, also called an Ishikawa or cause-and-effect diagram, is used to help facilitate a brainstorming session to identify causes for a specific effect or problem. The diagram allows the team to sort the effects into categories; as the brainstorming session is held, participants can focus on areas of the diagram where there are fewer ideas.

To use this template, place it in your workspace. As a team, decide on the problem statement (the “effect”) and place it in the triangle object at the right of the canvas. Next, brainstorm on the major categories of causes of the problem, changing the default categories on the template if needed. Brainstorm and capture the individual causes within each category, either by replacing the template text or by using notecards placed near each category. If a cause fits into multiple categories, note this by duplicating the notecard or text and adding it to all relevant categories. Continue brainstorming until you have exhausted all ideas.

How has the Fishbone diagram helped you with your Strategy & Planning? Comment down below!

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