Easy PowerPoint Fishbone Diagram Tutorial

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Fishbone chart is a key tool for root cause analysis. Create PowerPoint Fishbone diagram in 1 minute or less for your project presentations. Follow our simple step by step instruction.

The Fishbone diagram you’ll learn to create is:

Fishbone diagram

Where is Fishbone or Ishikawa diagram used?

The diagram format is used in…

  • Project presentations to showcase root cause analysis
  • Brainstorming session for developing new product design
  • Review sessions for Quality defect prevention etc.

The main benefit of the tool is – it helps you explore all the potential causes for an event, without biases. It is a diagram you must have at your disposal if you make strategic or leadership related presentations.

Here are the steps to create the diagram:

Step 1: Draw the head of the fish

Head of the fish represents the core issue or the ‘event’. Let us say, the issue is ‘Defects in production’. You start by drawing a circle or chevron to represent the ‘event’.

Chevron Fishbone

Step 2: Drawing the big bones

The big bones are the possible causes for the event. For example, the general causes could be categorized under People, Methods, Machines, Materials, Measurement and Environment. We represent these causes by drawing a chevron for each cause. For example:

PowerPoint Fishbone Diagram Tutorial

 This forces us to consider the issue from all relevant angles.

Note the use of arrows to represent the direction of flow of information. We draw a horizontal arrow for the spine (usually thicker than the other arrows) and an arrow each originating from the main causes.

It is good practice to draw one arrow and make multiple copies, rather than drawing separate arrows each time. This ensures that the diagram has a consistent look and feel.

Related: Creative PowerPoint Tree Diagrams

Step 3: Fleshing out the bones

The next step is to note down details under each of the causes. Focus on one cause at a time. This way, you will not be distracted by unconnected issues.

Detailed Fishbone Diagram

 It is not uncommon to see multiple layers of underlying causes for each of the big cause categories.

Related: 3 Creative SWOT Analysis Template Ideas

Why draw Ishikawa diagram in PowerPoint?

There are two main reasons for using PowerPoint to draw the diagram.

The first reason is:

Fishbone diagram on a slide is always helpful to explain the causes for an event in neatly organized clusters. This helps your audience organize your information in their mind and process it better.

A smarter way of using PowerPoint Fishbone diagram template:

Project the diagram template on a whiteboard and invite the participants to stick their ‘causes’ under different categories using sticky notes. This way, you’ll come up with an exhaustive analysis, where points are neatly segregated under various heads. You can shift the sticky notes to different categories or create new categories depending on the way the brainstorming session progresses.

Related: Learn to create diagrams with PowerPoint Shapes

Variations of the Ishikawa diagram template:

PowerPoint Fishbone from Charts & Diagrams CEO Pack

Source: PowerPoint Fishbone from Charts & Diagrams CEO Pack

If you want to represent ‘cause and effect’ in a conceptual way, you may consider alternatives like the ones below:

Cause Effect Diagrams from PowerPoint Charts CEO Pack

Source: PowerPoint Cause Effect Diagrams: Charts & Diagrams CEO Pack

Conclusion about PowerPoint Fishbone:

Even with a simple fishbone diagram you can create so many variations to represent different aspects of the diagram. Go ahead explore the options and play with PowerPoint.

Related: Draw Creative Decision tree Diagrams

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