What are some major advantages and disadvantages of fishbone diagrams?

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The fishbone diagram was designed by Japanese quality control expert Kaoru Ishikawa. His purpose was to provide a means of identifying underlying causes of problems so that solutions were not misapplied to secondary causes; if underlying causes are missed, larger problems develop. The fishbone diagram is meant to detect root causes of problems through group thinking by asking why each potential cause happens. The fishbone diagram is traditionally worked from right to left with "bones" for each cause branching from the center bone. The complexity of the fishbone lies in the smaller branching bones supporting each potential cause and answering "why" (whatis.techtarget.com).

Advantages
Major advantages to the fishbone diagram accord with the purpose and method of the fishbone.

  • It identifies cause and effect relationships in problems.
  • The method operates through the function of joint brainstorming discussions.
  • Brainstorming allows for broad-ranging thinking, steering teams away from "in a rut"...

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