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  • Topic: Ishikawa diagram, Kaoru Ishikawa, Causality
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  • Published : January 16, 2013
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Managing service standards through the fish-bone technique

Fish-bone techniques addresses following questions
• • • • What is/ are the problem in the service deign or delivery ? What are the causes for this problem ? What are the main cause and sub cause? How can the design be improved?


Kaoru Ishikawa pioneered the technique in Kawasaki shipping yards Fish-bone technique is the cause and effect model Initially used in manufacturing process , this techniques is used extensively in services now

Fish-bone diagram in Manufacturing industry Main causes could be ::  Manpower  Machines,  Material and  Methods

Fish-bone diagram in Service industry Main causes could be :  Equipments  Policies  People  Procedures

• Step 1 Identify the problem State the exact problem you face. Write the problem on the line drawn across the paper horizontally from the box. This arrangement, looks like the head and spine of the fish

Drawing a Fishbone Diagram
Topic Name

Effect Box

Step 2 : Work out the major factors involved

Next identify the factors that may contribute to the problem. Draw lines off the spine for each factor, and label it by way of brainstorming. They are the bones of the fish. Investigate the most likely causes further.

Drawing a Fishbone Diagram
Category 1

Category 2

Topic Name

Category 3

Category 4

Main Causes

Step 3 Identify possible causes:
For each of the factors you considered in stage 2, brainstorm possible causes of the problem that may be related to the factor. Show these as smaller lines coming off the 'bones' of the fish. Where a cause is large or complex, then it may be best to break the it down into sub-causes. Show these as lines coming off each cause line.

Fishbone Diagram
Category 1
Factor Factor Factor

Category 2
Factor Factor

Topic Name
Factor Factor Factor Factor

Category 3

Category 4 Factors and/or categories of factors

Reading the fishbone diagram Interpretation:

The size of the "bones" used in the diagram (such as big bones, medium bones, and small bones) can indicate the impact of the causes. The larger bones closer to the head of the fish show a great impact, while small bones further away from the head have a lesser impact.

Fishbone Diagram
Category 1
Factor Factor Factor

Category 2
Factor Factor

Topic Name
Factor Factor Factor Factor

Category 3

Category 4 Factors and/or categories of factors

Analyse each of the key factors (main bones) in turn
Need to train up mainstream staff

Need for special equipment & materials
Stairs limit access to facilities Wheelchair access limited

Clarity of Finance future budget provisions Unreliable estimates of costs Reliance on voluntary agencies

High costs of special medical & social support

Low awareness and tolerance among mainstream Bullying

Limited No. of specially qualified staff Staff worklife balance issues

Specialist transport required Dependent on existing LA contract Need to adjust travel times

Promoting inclusion of children with special needs in mainstream extended services

Higher staff to pupil ratio





Facilities, Equipment
Arrive late Oversized bags

Frontstage Front-Stage Personnel Personnel

Procedure Procedures

Customers Customers

Delayed check-in Gate agents Aircraft late to procedure cannot process fast gate enough Mechanical Acceptance of late Failures passengers Late/unavailable airline crew Late pushback

Delayed Departures
Other Causes
Weather Air traffic

Late food service
Late baggage Late fuel

Late cabin cleaners

Poor announcement of departures Weight and balance sheet late

Materials, Materials, Supplies Supplies

Backstage Personnel


However, When to use it
 

When not to use it
 

To analyze and...
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