Over hyping the negatives

by David Williams
(Lititz, PA)

Although I agree with a lot of what you pointed out about fishbones, I think you are over hyping trivial stuff.

Fishbones are a working document. They are meant to be messy during brainstorming. They almost always are accompanied by another document that documents the actions, timeline and validation data. And the process is repeated until root cause(s) are all found.

It has been my experience that the neatness of the fishbone has never been an issue. In some cases, if it was really necessary, we would have an office assistant make a clean fishbone at the end of the effort. In those cases, it was usually prior to sending a formal corrective action out of the building to a customer for review.

We do sometimes use the affinity diagram in place of the fishbone where we just have the brainstorm session and list all of the suspected concerns, then categorize them at the end.

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