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Idea Diagrams:
Cause and Effect, Affinity and
Tree Diagrams
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Seven Basic Quality Tools
1. Process Mapping / Flow Charts*
2. Check Sheets
3. Pareto Analysis
4. Cause & Effect Diagrams
5. Histograms
6. Scatter Diagrams (XY Graph)
7. Control Charts
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Topics
I. Cause and Effect Diagrams
A. Ishikawa Fishbone Diagram
B. Failure Mode Cause and Effect Diagram
II. Affinity Diagram
III. Tree Diagram
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I. Cause-and-Effect Diagrams
Cause-and-Effect Diagrams are used to:
visually identify potential causes of problems.
organize cause-and-effect relationships.
assist in root cause analysis.
demonstrate knowledge of problem-solving team.
Two Common Formats:
A. Ishikawa (Fishbone) Diagram
B. Failure Mode Cause-and-Effect Diagram
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A. Cause & Effect Diagram
(Ishikawa or Fishbone Diagram)
causes effect
Cause Branch
twig
twiglet
Effect
Effect failure
Branch Main Categories
(Example: 4Ms - man, method,
machine, material)
Twig 1
st
Level Causes
Twiglets 2
nd
Level Causes
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Cause-and-Effect Diagrams
Classification headings in cause-and-effect diagrams often
are derived from qualitative process analysis.
4Ms (5 or 6 Ms)
Man (personnel), Method, Machine, Material
Measurement system (or, include with machine)
Mother nature uncontrollable external issues
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Cause and Effect Analysis
Construct the cause and effect diagram as the
basis of analysis.
Do not stop until you reach root causes (not
symptoms).
Ask questions and question assumptions.
Do not jump to The Solution.
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Constructing a Cause and
Effect Diagram
Decide the problem to be analyzed.
Draw and label the effect line.
Draw and label the cause branches (e.g., 4Ms).
Ask why problem occurs to determine first level
causes
Continue to determine the next level of causes. Try
not to stop until you reach root causes (vs.
symptoms).
Highlight likely root causes.
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Creating a Cause and Effect
Diagram
Effect - failure
Effect
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Elements of a Cause and Effect
Diagram
Branch - broad
categories,
i.e. 4 Ms
Man
Method
Machine Material
Effect
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Elements of a Cause and Effect
Diagram
Man
Method
Machine Material
1
st
Level Cause
Twig - 1st Level Cause
Effect
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Elements of a Cause and Effect
Diagram
Man
Method
Machine Material
2nd Level Cause
Effect
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Lecture Exercise: Create a
Cause and Effect Diagram
Create a Cause and Effect Diagram for the
following problem:
Effect: customer dissatisfaction for delayed airline
flight departures
Use the following Cause Branches:
Machine (Equipment); Man (Personnel); Method;
Materials; Environment
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Lecture Exercise: Machine
Flight
Delays
Machine
Mechanical
Gate
not
working
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Lecture Exercise: Man
Flight
Delays
Machine
Mechanical
Gate
not
working
Man
Late
Pilot
Late
Crew
Cleaning
Late
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Lecture Exercise: Method
Flight
Delays
Machine
Mechanical
Gate
not
working
Man
Late
Pilot
Late
Crew
Cleaning
Late
Method
Boarding
Process
Gate
blocked
Unclear
Procedure
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Lecture Exercise: Materials
Flight
Delays
Machine
Mechanical
Gate
not
working
Man
Late
Pilot
Late
Crew
Cleaning
Late
Materials
Late
Baggage
Late
Meals
Late
Fuel
Method
Boarding
Process
Gate
blocked
Unclear
Procedure
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Lecture Exercise: Environment
Flight
Delays
Machine
Mechanical
Gate
not
working
Man
Late
Pilot
Late
Crew
Cleaning
Late
Materials
Late
Baggage
Late
Meals
Late
Fuel
Method
Boarding
Process
Gate
blocked
Unclear
Procedure
FAA Delay
Environment
Weather
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B. Failure Mode Cause-and-Effect
Diagram
Methods
Machinery
Material
Man (Person)
Environment
Failure
Mode
Downstream
Process
End-user
Operation
Causes ||| Effects
Note: may have multiple effects,
and/or multiple causes
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Failure Mode Cause-and-Effect
Diagram (Airline Example)
Gate Not
Working
Man
Method
Equipment
Material
Environment
Failure
Mode
Customer
Dissatisfaction
Missing
Connections
Flight Does Not Leave On-Time
Late Crew
Boarding
Process
Late Fuel
Late Baggage
Severe Weather
Causes ||| Effects
Lost
Profits
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II. Affinity Diagram
Affinity natural attraction
Brainstorming technique used to gather and group
ideas.
Useful for analyzing causes of quality problems, survey
analysis, customer complaints.
Basic premise
while numerous reasons may exist for a problem, they are
usually grouped around some common themes. And, by
identifying these common themes, a team can better focus on
finding root causes and implementing multilateral
recommendations.
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Constructing Affinity Diagrams
for Six Sigma Projects
Basic Steps:
Select a problem.
Identify causes via brainstorming or interviews.
Write each cause on a note card or Post-It (each cause should
be 2-7 words)
Examine causes and cluster them into groups (usually in
silence).
Review the clusters and decide on best grouping.
Use final grouping to generate additional causes.
Develop a plan to address major groupings or potential root
causes.
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Example: Software Re-Design
Project
Six Sigma Project
Problem: employees are complaining about the limitations of an
internally developed excel-based program used in the Production
Part Approval Process.
Software Product provides a statistical summary of the part
characteristics to verify production readiness.
Six Sigma Team was formed to identify causes of the complaints.
Team interviewed various users for input. Can you think of any
likely concerns based on past experience?
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Exercise: Affinity Diagram
(create 2-4 groupings of concerns)
1. Difficult to navigate
2. No standardized summary reports
3. Limited graphical summary reports
4. Cannot analyze multiple characteristics
5. Difficult to change part specifications
6. Cannot handle blank cells within data range
7. Few user friendly features
8. Difficult to import/export data
9. No formula protection
10. No outlier analysis
11. Takes too long to setup print feature
12. Data Files too big (programming in every file)
13. Too much manual input
14. No customized features to perform analysis
15. No customized naming of files
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Groupings
Suppose the team has identified 3 Groupings for the
concerns.
Place the previous concerns into the following:
A. Data Analysis Capability
B. Functionality Ease of Use
C. Programming Efficiency
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Affinity Diagram
Production Part Approval Software
A. Data Analysis Capability
Limited graphical summary reports
Cannot analyze multiple characteristics
Difficult to change part specifications
No standardized summary reports
No outlier analysis
No customized features to perform analysis
B. Functionality Ease of Use
Difficult to navigate
Few user friendly features
Takes too long to setup print feature
Too much manual input
No customized naming of files
C. Programming Efficiency
Cannot handle blank cells within data range
Difficult to import/export data
No formula protection
Data Files too big (programming in every file)
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Affinity Diagram Next Steps
After grouping all of the data, you should brainstorm for
additional causes / concerns. (Grouping generate
more ideas)
Case Study
For this case study, a list of recommendations were developed to
improve the software tool including converting the tool into a read-
only application.
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III. Tree Diagram
A tree diagram provides a hierarchy of cause-effect
relationships.
Often need to keep asking why to better understand
root cause(s) of problems.
Problem
WHY?
Cause
Cause
Cause
Cause
Cause
Cause

.
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Tree Diagram Example:
Loan Case Study
Loan takes too long Internal processing errors Loan application
errors from customer Loan officers do not know all the details to
obtain for a lending program Branch Managers do not provide
standard guidelines of lender programs Central office does not
provide branch managers with support to develop standards.
Loan take
Too long
To process
Internal
Processing
Errors
Underwriting
Delays
Delays waiting for external
Underwriter to process loan
Loan Application Errors
Lender Program changes
Loan Application
Errors
.
Why?
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Tree Diagram Alternative Use
Tree Diagrams also may be used in the IMPROVE
PHASE to identify ways or means to complete a task
or objective.
Objective
How?
Means
Means
Means
Means
Means
Means