The fish-bone diagram can be used during the risk brainstorming sessions and as a communication tool like the Bowtie diagram mentioned on this page.

  • Brainstorm all major categories of causes of the problem
  • Use generic headings as: Methods, Equipment, Staff, Materials, and Environment etc.
  • Ask: Why does this happen?
  • Write each idea as a branch from the appropriate category. Causes can be written in several places if they relate to several categories.
  • Continue to ask, “Why Does This Happen?” about each cause and generate deeper levels of causes
  • Write sub-causes branching off the main causes. Continue to ask “Why?”
  • Focus attention to places on the chart where ideas are few