Leading the Meeting

Fishbone diagrams are best completed in a team setting.

As the facilitator of the meeting, there are a few things you can do to make sure it is successful –

  •  Communicate the objective, i.e., ”Complete a fishbone diagram for motor life cycle failures are experiencing, and agree on next steps for the investigation.”


  • At the start of the meeting, show a fishbone diagram example, review the meeting objective, and ask for any questions on the definition/scope of the problem to be discussed.


  • Let the team know that no idea is considered irrelevant – all potential causes will be noted.  Priorities will be set later.


  • Ask the team to write their ideas on large Post-it notes (3″ x 3″ work well), and stick them on the wall or large dry-erase board.


  • Keep the meeting moving and avoid discussing any one cause for too long.


  • Once all the potential causes have been listed, group them under major headings and eliminate the duplicates.


  • Each group heading will represent a bone on the fish (reference the introduction page), and then the individual causes can be listed along each bone.


When the diagram is finished, ask the team members for their thoughts on the top causes to investigate first, then highlight those items on the diagram and note next steps and timing.