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Kaoru Ishikawa
Kaoru Ishikawa

The Cause and Effect diagram also known as the "fishbone" or "Ishikawa" diagram after its creator Kaoru Ishikawa is used to systematically list all the different causes that can be attributed to a specific problem (or effect). A cause-and-effect diagram can help identify the reasons why a process goes out of control.

How to - Cause and Effect (pdf 69 kb)
The guide includes an overview of cause and effect diagrams, when to use them, how to use them; as well as exercises for getting started...
The US Navy Total Quality Leadership Office

Continual Improvement Tools & Techniques
A Guide for Business Improvement

Continual Improvement Tools & Techniques: A Guide for Business Improvement
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This guide explains how to carry out more than twenty tools & techniques necessary to ensure your business continually improves.

Topics covered include:

Affinity diagrams, Bar charts, Black & white charts, Brainstorming, Cause & effect diagrams, Design of Experiments (DoE), Failure Mode, Effect and Criticality Analysis (FMEA/FMECA), Fault Tree Analysis (FTA), Five WHY’s for root cause analysis, Five Ws & one H for problem definition, Flow charting, Histograms, Pareto analysis, Pictograms, Pie charts, Plan-Do-Check-Act (PDCA) cycle, Quality Function Deployment (QFD), Rating, Repeatability and Reproducibility tests (R&R), Run charts, Significance testing, Solution effect diagrams

Also includes a handy matrix showing when to apply which tool & technique.


Further reading

The Memory Jogger II: A Pocket Guide of Tools for Continuous Improvement

The Memory Jogger II: A Pocket Guide of Tools for Continuous Improvement
Michael Brassard

This handy Pocket Guide uses graphics and easy-to-understand text to describe what the tools are, why they’re used, and how to use them. Tools are explained using real-life examples from all types of organisations, making them easy for everyone to understand and apply. The 22 Tools covered are
Activity Network Diagram, Affinity Diagram, Brainstorming, Cause & Effect (Fishbone), Check Sheets, Control Charts, Data Points, Flowchart, Force Field Analysis, Histograms, Interrelationship Digraph (ID), Matrix Diagram, Multivoting, Pareto Chart, Prioritization Matrices, Problem Solving Model, Process Capability, Radar Chart, Run Chart, Scatter Diagram, Team Guidelines, Tree Diagram, Process Decision, Program Chart, Nominal Group Technique (NGT).

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