Fishbone – The Cause and Effect Diagram Source: Iowa Evaluator Approval Training Program (adapted) See Also: The Handbook for smart school Teams, pp 136-137 What Is It?



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Iowa Support System for Schools and Districts in Need of Assistance


Fishbone – The Cause and Effect Diagram

Source: Iowa Evaluator Approval Training Program (adapted)

See Also: The Handbook for SMART School Teams, pp 136-137

What Is It?

The Fishbone – Cause and Effect Diagram is a visual of the critical elements that may contribute to the problem, or effect, the building/district is experiencing. It is based upon the work in 1943 of Professor Kaoru Ishikawa of Tokyo.


It is used to identify the effect, or specific problem, and then the possible causes of that effect. The visual allows you to organize a lot of information and zero in on specific causes.
It is extremely helpful in finding “root causes” to problems.
How Do You Use It?


  1. Identify the effect, or problem, as it is presently perceived and as accurately as possible. (Do you want the pipe fixed? or Do you want water in the pool?) Place that information in the “eye” of the fishbone, marked “Effect.”

  2. Brainstorm/Review the evidence for possible causes; these could come from the critical elements of the three domains – Academic, Quality Educator, Building/ District System. They may come from other sources as well.

  • Academic

  • Standards

  • Curriculum

  • Instruction

  • Assessment

  • Quality Educator

  • Professional Development

  • Leadership and Supervision

  • Internal Communication

  • Climate and Culture

  • Building/District System

  • External Environment

  • Stakeholders (Family and Community)

  • Resource Allocation

  • Technology

  • Accountability

  1. Brainstorm/Review the evidence that suggests reasons/causes for each of these causes. For example, if you have determined that curriculum may be a cause for this problem, then determine reasons for this cause. Your evidence may indicate a misalignment between the curriculum and the assessments, or even a misalignment of what the educators teach in the classroom compared to the curriculum and the standards. (“The 5 Why” approach can help you “dig deeper” into each of the possible causes you have identified.) You will want to note each of those reasons, or “cause of the causes” below the appropriate cause. Add “bones” to the fish or use bullets under each cause. You can even prioritize these if you desire.

Fishbone – The Cause and Effect Diagram

Source: Iowa Evaluator Approval Training Program (adapted)


Effect

Fishbone – The Cause and Effect Diagram

Source: Iowa Evaluator Approval Training Program (adapted)

Effect
8th Grade Math Scores

Instruction



Professional Development

  • Not implementing

  • No follow-up

  • No effective research

Curriculum

  • Misalignment – CIA and Standards

Learners

Learning Environment


Parent Engagement


Diagnosis Phase: Fishbone – The Cause and Effect Diagram ©2009 Diagnosis -


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