What is a Cause and Effect Diagram?

What is a Cause-and-Effect Diagram?`

A Cause-and-Effect Diagram is a tool that helps identify, sort, and display possible causes of a specific problem or quality characteristic. It graphically illustrates the relationship between a given outcome and all the factors that influence the outcome.

When should a team use a Cause-And-Effect Diagram?

Constructing a Cause-and-Effect Diagram can help your team when you need to

  • Identify the possible root causes, the basic reasons, for a specific effect, problem, or condition.
  • Sort out and relate some of the interactions among the factors affecting a particular process or effect.
  • Analyze existing problems so that corrective action can be taken

Why should we use a Cause-and-Effect Diagram?

A Cause-and-Effect Diagram is a tool that is useful for identifying and organizing the known or possible causes of quality, or the lack of it. The structure provided by the diagram helps team members think in a very systematic way.

Some of the benefits of constructing a Cause-and-Effect Diagram are that it

  • Helps determine the root causes of a problem or quality characteristic using a structured approach.
  • Encourages group participation and utilizes group knowledge of the process.
  • Uses an orderly, easy-to-read format to diagram cause-and-effect relationships.
  • Indicates possible causes of variation in a process.
  • Increases knowledge of the process by helping everyone to learn more about the factors at work and how they relate.
  • Identifies areas where data should be collected for further study.