Determining the Relevance of a Problem with an Ishikawa Diagram

Cause and Effect Diagram (Fishbone Diagram) - Ishikawa > Forum Log in

Determining the Relevance of a Problem with an Ishikawa Diagram
Leo van Kampen, Netherlands
I use the fishbone to determine the relevance of a problem. On the upper side of the fishbone I put the positive characteristics (what are the benefits if the problem is solved). On the lower side the negative (what are the cost elements). I rate all characteristic on a scale from 1-5. Also sub branches are rated. Then I divide the positive by the negative. If the fraction is larger then 1 the problem is relevant if it smaller then one the subject is not that relevant. Relevance is translated to prioritizing. If there are no negative elements then the denominator is infinite small and the fraction becomes infinite large. Mostly quick wins. If there are no positive characteristics the numerator becomes infinite small and the fractal will be close to zero. No relevance.

Mauricio, Peru
I am going to try this in my next fishbone

I like it
Pamela, Guatemala
The only thing that worries me, is how avoid the subjective rate, I am not sure that I will do it only by numbers, when rating always will be any preference involve....

Good Idea
A. J. Jegadheeeson, Other, India
Only doubt I have is we construct the causes and effects diagnosis, based on possible causes. It is like listing out the causes of a road accident by sitting in a room. We need to narrow down from possible to most probable causes through validation. Then if we apply this it wil be highly useful.

Refinement of Suggested Approach to Calculate the Relevance of a Problem
Respected Sir,
Ratings on the basis of 1-5 may easily differ from person to person. The technique you suggest is useful, but you need to to work on the variability point here.
You can do this by using some formulas or techniques which give it a common base. So rather than just a rating, give weights to each point you consider and multiply them to obtain the score which would be a percentage.
For example, if you have 3 positive points and Quality is one among them, you might give it a weight of 40% and then calculate: (Norm Quantity/Actual Quantity).
Say your next positive point has a weight of 35% and the next 25%. Do the same calculation for each. Then calculate the cumulative results to arrive at the numerator.
Do it similar for the negative points (=denominator).
After doing that, you can divide the numerator by the denominator.
Please note the weights can change easily as per the requirements, and the type of method you are working on.


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