Cause and Effect Analysis
This article supports the ProjectManagement.com presentation for Cause and Effect Analysis and provides a more detailed explanation of how the tool should be used. It should be read in conjunction with the presentation.
The fundamental purpose of this analysis is to understand what is really causing the problems that we are facing. If we don’t conduct the analysis but rather make assumptions about what is causing the problem, then we jump straight to our perceived solution and more often than not we end up wasting time, money and effort on implementing the wrong solution (or an incomplete solution). Not only is this inefficient, it doesn’t solve the problem that we are facing in the first place!
Instead, we undertake an analysis of the problem using a diagramming technique that was first developed in the 1960s by a Japanese quality management expert called Kaoru Ishikawa. You may hear it referred to as a fishbone diagram because of the way that it looks, or an Ishikawa diagram after the man who invented it; it’s the same basic approach.
The diagram is intended to be a catalyst for discussion with your team about the problems that you are facing and the possible causes of those problems. Success doesn’t come from “filling out the diagram”; rather it comes from using the development of the diagram as an opportunity to talk through
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