A fishbone diagram organizes possible causes into a visual format that is quickly understood.
Making fishbone diagrams is easy (here’s the Powerpoint file for the one below).
The following fishbone diagram was made by a customer service team addressing lengthy customer call times –
Here are the steps that the team followed in creating the fishbone diagram –
|State the Problem||The problem statement was first placed at the “head of the fish.” In this case, the problem statement is, “Call Times Exceeding Two Minutes.” This is a good problem statement because it is very specific and will keep the team focused.|
|Document Possible Causes||Before the “skeleton” of the fishbone diagram was filled in, the team brainstormed possible causes for excessive call times. Then they grouped the causes into three major categories: (a) customer service rep knowledge, (b) customer knowledge, and (c) call center environment.|
|Complete the Diagram||In total, eight possible causes were assigned to the three groups above. The causes included things like call center training, customer education, and creating a better call center environment.|
After completing the fishbone diagram, the team collected data for two weeks using a check sheet. The team then tallied up the reasons for all calls exceeding two minutes.
Using the team’s data, a Pareto Chart was constructed and the team implemented fixes that reduced excessive call times by 72%.
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