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What are some major advantages and disadvantages of Fish-bone diagrams?

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rak64 | Student, Undergraduate

Posted December 1, 2011 at 11:03 PM via web

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What are some major advantages and disadvantages of Fish-bone diagrams?

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pohnpei397 | College Teacher | (Level 3) Distinguished Educator

Posted December 1, 2011 at 11:33 PM (Answer #1)

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The major advantage of a fishbone diagram (also known as an Ishikawa diagram) is that it can be of great help in a situation where a person or team of people is trying to determine the cause of some problem.  The major advantage is that a fishbone diagram helps the team by providing a convenient and easily understood way of thinking of and listing possible causes of the problem that is being faced.  The team comes up with basic sources of possible problems (like machines, work methods, or measurement) and then brainstorms, trying to think of what aspects of these sources could possibly be causing the problem.

The major disadvantage is simply that it doesn't solve any problems.  It can only help in identifying possible causes of problems and does not offer any possible solutions or any analysis of the likelihood that a given cause is the real one.  In addition, it is not very good at pointing out which of the possible causes is most likely or most important.  Graphically speaking, it makes all possible causes look equally plausible and equally important.

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