Easy PowerPoint Fishbone Diagram Tutorial

The Fishbone chart is an essential tool for conducting root cause analysis. With our simple step-by-step instructions, you can create a professional PowerPoint Fishbone diagram in just one minute or less, perfect for your project presentations.

The Fishbone diagram you’ll learn to create is:

Fishbone Diagram

Fishbone Diagram

The Fishbone diagram you will learn to create is a powerful visual representation of the potential causes of an event, also known as an Ishikawa diagram. This diagram format is widely used in various settings, including: 

  • Project presentations to showcase root cause analysis
  • Brainstorming sessions for developing new product designs, and
  • Review sessions for quality defect prevention etc.

The main benefit of this tool is that it allows you to explore all potential causes for an event without any biases. It is an indispensable diagram to 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

The head of the fish represents the core issue or event. To begin, draw a circle or chevron to represent the event. For example, if the issue is "Defects in production," start by drawing a circle to represent this event.

Chevron for Fishbone

Chevron for Fishbone

Step 2: Drawing the big bones

The big bones are the possible causes for the event. These causes can be categorized under People, Methods, Machines, Materials, Measurement, and Environment. To represent these causes, draw a chevron for each cause. This will force you to consider the issue from all relevant angles.

Fishbone Layout PowerPoint

Fishbone Layout PowerPoint

Note the use of arrows to represent the direction of flow of information. 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 bone

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. 

Fishbone Diagram

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 Use PowerPoint to Create an Ishikawa Diagram?

There are two primary reasons why PowerPoint is an excellent tool for creating an Ishikawa diagram.

1. Organized Format 
Firstly, a fishbone diagram on a slide is an effective way to explain the causes of an event in an organized and visually appealing manner. This helps your audience to better understand and process the information you are presenting.

2. Interactive options

To take this a step further, you can use the PowerPoint Fishbone diagram template in a more interactive way. Project the template onto a whiteboard and invite participants to add their own causes under different categories using sticky notes.

This collaborative approach will result in a comprehensive analysis, with points neatly categorized under various headings. You can easily move the sticky notes to different categories or create new ones as the brainstorming session progresses.

Related: Learn to create diagrams with PowerPoint Shapes

Variations of the Ishikawa diagram template:

Here are some ready to use Fishbone templates from our PowerPoint Charts & Diagrams CEO Pack 1.

Fishbone Diagrams from PowerPoint CEO Pack

Fishbone Diagrams from PowerPoint CEO Pack

In conclusion, even a simple fishbone diagram can be customized in numerous ways to represent different aspects of the diagram. So go ahead and explore the options and have fun playing with PowerPoint!

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Return to Top of PowerPoint Fishbone Page

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