A New Use for Ishikawa Diagrams


Hermens, Michael   (1997, ASQC)   Comerica Bank Inc., Detroit, MI

Quality Progress    Vol. 30    No. 6
QICID: 13249    June 1997    pp. 81-83
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Article Abstract

The service sector has applications for modified Ishikawa diagrams, especially if used with customer focus groups. This method includes the following elements: mapping customer activities into processes; linking activity problems to the processes and then to their potential causes; and reviewing these findings with management. In a case study, Metrobank used this technique for customers dissatisfied with the firm's insolvency services. In a focus group the customers identified their activities and then translated these into processes. The sequence of the activities was the basis for an Ishikawa focus group diagram. Next, the focus group talked about problems they had with each process. The facilitator used emotional cues to help prioritize the important problems and their possible causes. Management of Metrobank then reviewed this information. They brainstormed solutions to the problems; examined cost implications of each; and planned improvements for customer communications. Metrobank has used the results of this exercise to redesign its bankruptcy information system; reengineer support processes; and establish a help desk position for customer assistance.


Cause and effect diagram,Process analysis,Problem solving,Ishikawa diagram (Fishbone diagram ),Case study,Service sector,Customer supplier relationships,Voice of the customer (VOC)

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