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Cause Analysis Tools

Use these tools when you want to conduct root cause analysis for a problem or situation.

Fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram: identifies many possible causes for an effect or problem and sorts ideas into useful categories.

Pareto chart: shows on a bar graph which factors are more significant.

Scatter diagram: graphs pairs of numerical data, with one variable on each axis, to help you look for a relationship.

Excerpted from Nancy R. Tague’s The Quality Toolbox, Second Edition, ASQ Quality Press, 2004.

Related Resources on Root Cause Analysis

Learn how cause analysis tools can fit into your root cause analysis efforts.

Webcast: Root Cause Analysis for Beginners, Part 1 and Part 2
ASQ Fellow Jim Rooney walks you through the basics of root cause analysis.

Case study: Quality Revolution Reduces Defects, Drives Sales Growth at 3M
By combining Lean Six Sigma and a Top-200 customer focus, 3M improved its belt fabrication processes, reducing defects in parts per million by a factor of 28 times as sales increased by 54 percent.

Case study: Wind Power Company Gets to the Root of an Icy Issue
A root cause analysis project saved Clipper Windpower $1 million in lost revenue while increasing customer satisfaction.

Article: Under Scrutiny
A new approach to root cause analysis can help clear up misconceptions.

Article: Get to the Root of It
Use an is/is not comparative analysis tool to pinpoint the problem.

More Resources

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