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Application Of Fishbone Diagram To Determine The Risk Of An Event With Multiple Causes

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Abstract

Fishbone diagram (also known as Ishikawa diagram) was created with the goal of identifying and grouping the causes which generate a quality problem. Gradually, the method has been used also to group in categories the causes of other types of problems which an organization confronts with. This made Fishbone diagram become a very useful instrument in risk identification stage. The article proposes to extend the applicability of the method by including in the analysis the probabilities and the impact which allow determining the risk score for each category of causes, but also, of the global risk. The practical application is realized to analyze the risk “loosing specialists”.
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
1
Management Research and Practice
Volume 2, Issue 1 / March 2010
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APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO
DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH
MULTIPLE CAUSES
Gheorghe ILIE 1, Carmen Nadia CIOCOIU 2
1 UTI Grup SRL, Soseaua Oltenitei no.107A, Bucharest, Romania, gheorghe.ilie@uti.ro
2 Academy of Economic Studies, Piata Romana, 6, Bucharest, Romania, nadia.ciocoiu@man.ase.ro
Abstract
Fishbone diagram (also known as Ishikawa diagram) was created with the goal of identifying and grouping the causes
which generate a quality problem. Gradually, the method has been used also to group in categories the causes of other
types of problems which an organization confronts with. This made Fishbone diagram become a very useful instrument
in risk identification stage. The article proposes to extend the applicability of the method by including in the analysis the
probabilities and the impact which allow determining the risk score for each category of causes, but also, of the global
risk. The practical application is realized to analyze the risk “loosing specialists”.
Keywords: Fishbone diagram, global risk, probability, impact.
1. Introduction
The Fishbone diagram (also called the Ishikawa diagram) is a tool for identifying the root causes of quality
problems. It was named after Kaoru Ishikawa, a Japanese quality control statistician, the man who pioneered
the use of this chart in the 1960's (Juran, 1999).
The Fishbone diagram is an analysis tool that provides a systematic way of looking at effects and the causes
that create or contribute to those effects. Because of the function of the Fishbone diagram, it may be referred
to as a cause-and-effect diagram (Watson, 2004).
Fishbone (Ishikawa) diagram mainly represents a model of suggestive presentation for the correlations
between an event (effect) and its multiple happening causes. The structure provided by the diagram helps
team members think in a very systematic way. Some of the benefits of constructing a Fishbone diagram are
that it helps determine the root causes of a problem or quality characteristic using a structured approach,
encourages group participation and utilizes group knowledge of the process, identifies areas where data
should be collected for further study (Basic Tools for Process Improvement, 2009).
The design of the diagram looks much like the skeleton of a fish. The representation can be simple, through
bevel line segments which lean on an horizontal axis, suggesting the distribution of the multiple causes and
sub-causes which produce them, but it can also be completed with qualitative and quantitative appreciations,
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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with names and coding of the risks which characterizes the causes and sub-causes, with elements which
show their succession, but also with other different ways for risk treatment. The diagram can also be used to
determine the risks of the causes and sub-causes of the effect, but also of its global risk (Ciocoiu, 2008).
Usually, the analysis after Fishbone diagram continues with other representation and establishing treatment
priorities methods.
2. EMENTING FISHBONE DIAGRAM
To implement Fishbone diagram is used the logic scheme in Figure 1.
A special attention must be given to problem identification and its risk formalization.
- are identified problems, symptoms,
consequences, risks
- interview and consulting techniques are
used
- damages dimensions
- chronological elements, events
- treatment priorities
- main causes are detailed
- in Boards of Directors, conferences or
consultations
- the diagram’s acceptance is decided by
the top management through an official
document
FIGURE 1 - LOGIC SCHEME OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM IMPLEMENTATION (ILIE, 2009)
LOOSING SPECIALISTS
YES
NO
PROBLEM IDENTIFICATION
PROBLEM FORMALIZATION
IDENTIFYING MAIN AND
SECONDARY CAUSES
PRIORITY CRITERIAS ARE
ESTABLISHED
DIAGRAM ANALYSE
IS IT ACCEPTED?
COMPLETION OF FISHBONE
DIAGRAM
ACCEPTED DIAGRAM
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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The problem itself must be a desired or non-desired event characterized by risk and which must be treated
(decreased) or exploited (capitalized). For the problem solved using Fishbone diagram, it must fulfill the
following conditions:
it must be characterized by risk (R = p
I), meaning that the probability of occurrence and its impact
can be determined;
it must be a management objective with operational valence;
the causes producing it must be characterized by probability, possibility or frequency of occurrence;
in turn, main causes must be also considered as effects (secondary or of second order) and sub-
causes, named side-effects and which represent the causes of the secondary effects, must fulfill the
same conditions as the main causes;
there must not exist bijective correlations, meaning the effect must not turn into its cause, regardless
the positioning on the diagram.
Identifying main and secondary causes and their formalization must fulfill the same conditions as the
problem identification and formalization, plus the following:
a priority criteria or a certain sequence in time (chronology) or a certain probability, possibility or
frequency of occurrence can be identified;
main causes may or may not have one or more secondary causes;
if the question, the belonging of these causes can be identified: endogenous to the system of which
the effect characterized by risk belongs or exogenous to the system (belonging to the environment);
the number of main and secondary causes must be reasonable, usually not over 7-9 for main
causes and 2-3 for the secondary causes of a main cause;
main and secondary causes must be representative and should allow monitoring or even
management (can be sustained or fined through measures);
names given must be representative and suggestive for the relation cause-effect, and at the same
time it should be able to be characterized by risks which enroll in the cause’s relevance.
Completion, the analysis as representativeness and relevance and its diagram acceptance represent a team-
work which needs to take into consideration the objectivity of the analysis, its phenomenological
representativeness (of the process), localization inside the achievement and representation criteria, coding
possibility and establishing the exogenous or endogenous membership of its elements (Ilie, 2009).
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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A lopsided diagram can indicate an over-focus in one area, a lack of knowledge in other areas, or it can
simply indicate that the causes are focused in the denser area. A sparse diagram may indicate a lack of
general understanding of the problem or just a problem with few possible causes (Straker).
The repartition of the causes and sub-causes on the diagram must meet some relevance, membership or
timeline criteria, but they can be put in any preference order or even random (Ciocoiu, 2008).
After accepting the diagram, which must be stated in a decisional document (decision, minute, agreement
etc.), follows the risk analyze of the elements in the diagram and then to the establishment of a plan for
treatment or risk operation of the components (causes) and of the risk (global) of the characterized event (the
effect).
3. ANALYSIS OF “LOOSING SPECIALISTS” DIAGRAM
For the application presented in this paper was chosen as the problem the fact of loosing specialists”, an
undesirable event with negative connotations. The risk assigned to the studied event will be actually named
“the risk of loosing specialists”.
This risk fulfills all conditions of analytical element of the process developed inside an organization,
regardless of its profile, and must not be confused with lost specialist value number. The number of lost
specialists represents a performance indicator and it can be taken into consideration when analyzing the
process itself.
The difference between the risk of loosing specialists and the number of lost specialists (binding in a certain
period of time: one year, during the functioning period of an organization, during a contract period etc.) is that
the number of specialists represents a static performance element, while the risk represents the dynamic of
the phenomenon through the probability distribution of the effect occurrence, but also the impact which this
effect has on the organization or on the process it belongs to.
Usually, the number of lost specialists is expressed by an integer and represents the performance of an
occurred event, while the risk of loosing specialist is expressed by a fractional number or as a percentage
and means the possibility, probability or forecast of an event occurrence. There is the possibility for the risk to
be expressed also on a scale from 0 to 5, but even if in this case it is an integer (1, 2, 3, 4 or 5) it represents
only a scale convention, meaning a fractional number or a percentage (regarding 5). There also exists the
possibility for the number of lost specialists to be expressed as a fraction or percentages, meaning that from
100 specialists were lost 7, that is 0,07 or 7%, but also in this case, the difference between the number of lost
specialists, as a still image, and the risk, as a probabilistic, dynamic event, remains relevant.
For the application was developed the diagram in Figure 2.
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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FIGURE 2 - FISHBONE DIAGRAM FOR LOOSING SPECIALISTS
The diagram (Figure 2) is characterized by:
6 main causes (management, organization, location, market, professional horizon and
benefits) and 11 secondary causes, two for five main causes and one for the sixth main cause
(professional horizon);
the representation on the diagram axis was made in an order of relevance (or of intake), inferred at
the first analyze; from the beginning of the axis until the end of it, the most important causes being
situated at the beginning (management and market);
placement of the main causes in the upper zone (considered the left part of the axis) or the lower
zone (considered the right part of the axis) of the diagram was made according to a some
conditioning, meaning that by the management depends organization and, obviously, the quality of
the location where the process develops, and the market has elements of competition or of direct
influence over the professional horizon and the benefits (as requirement);
the same principle tried to be respected also for the secondary causes, in the sense that the most
far away of the horizontal axis have superior relevance than those closer (conflict situations are
less relevant in the process than lack of efficiency);
COMPETITIVENESS
LOW
SPECIALISTS
BIG DEMAND FOR
LACK OF
EFFICIENCY
COMMUNICATION
INEFFECTIVE
HIERARCHY
EXCESSIVE
DEPROFESSIO
-
NALIZATION
CONDITIONS
POOR
PERIPHERAL
AREA
LACK OF
INCENTIVES
REDUCED
SALARIES
CONFLICT
SITUATIONS
LOOSING
SPECIALISTS
BENEFITS
PROFESSIONAL
HORIZON
MARKET
ORGANIZATION
MANAGEMENT
LOCATION
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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choosing the names of the main and secondary causes was done watching that they represent the
main causes relevant during the process (management, market, organization, location etc.), while
for the secondary causes (deprofessionalization, low competitiveness, poor conditions etc.) was
watched for them to be as close as possible on the image of the risk.
If it is chosen the repartition criteria of main causes according to the environment or process
belonging, in the left side (up) of the axis are represented the five endogenous causes, and on the right side
(down) only the market, the only exogenous cause. Also in this case, on the left side of the axis are
represented main causes in an order of relevance, from management to location (Figure 5).
4. CAUSES CODIFICATION
Causes codification is important in the risk analysis process using Fishbone diagram because it allows an
easier operation and representation of the causes.
Codification is based on several principles:
belonging to parts of the diagram (left or right);
internal or external cause distribution (endogenous or exogenous);
chronology or occurrence frequency (time sequence or density of causes occurrence);
group composition of the code so that it would be more representative (of letters for membership or
distribution and of numbers for chronology or succession);
the possibility to change the codification, if during the analyze the initial codification criteria changes
(for example: the codification was made according to membership, but during the analyze has
become a priority the sequence or the distribution); changing the codification is not indicated to be
done more than once and, binding, this change materializes in a table of equivalence in which
causes, old and new codes are written for each one. The table of equivalence for codification
changes is accompanied by explanatory notes regarding initial and final codification criteria and
about its reasons to change.
The layout inside the table of equivalence is done in the established order for the final codification, but so that
there won’t appear confusions (when the number of causes is bigger) the current number of the causes from
the initial codification table is kept (Table 1).
TABLE 1 - TABLE OF CAUSES (FINAL CODIFICATION)
Current
Issue CAUSE SUB-CAUSE INITIAL
CODE
FINAL
CODE
Initial
current
issue
3
3.1
Professional
horizont
Deprofessionalization S3
S31
D2
D21
5
5.1
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C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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In Figure 2 for the causes codification is used the table presented in Table 2.
TABLE 2 – TABLE OF CAUSES CODIFICATION
Current issue CAUSE SUB-CAUSE CODE
1 Management S1
1.1 Lack of efficiency S11
1.2 Conflict situations S12
2 Organization S2
2.1 Excessive hierarchy S21
2.2 Ineffective communication S22
3 Locations S3
3.1 Peripheral area S31
3.2 Poor conditions S32
4 Market D1
4.1 Big demand for specialists D11
4.2 Low competitiveness D12
5 Professional horizon D2
5.1 Deprofessionalization D21
6 Benefits D3
6.1 Reduced salary D31
6.2 Lack of incentives D32
5. DETERMINING GLOBAL RISK
Global risk of the effect is conditioned by the risk of producing main causes and represents the weighted sum
of them.
In the example presented in this paper, the distribution of the six main causes, on the left and the right (up
and down) of the horizontal axis, based on the criteria of determining two categories of causes: conditions
for activity (management, organization and locations) and competition, perspective and payment (market,
professional horizon and benefits).
In this case, loosing specialists risk formalization, Rg, represent the weighted sum of the risks from the
categories distributed on the left side, Rs, and on the right side, Rd, which contribution at the global risk is
weighted regarding with their conditioning to them:
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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Rg = ps
Rs + pd
Rd ,
where the sum of both categories weights must be equal to 1 ( ps + pd =1).
In turn, each category of risk is a weighted sum of the main causes of the risks distributed to the left
or to the right:
and Rs i are the main causes distributed to the left and
and Rdj are the main causes distributed to the right.
Also, each risk of a main cause represents the weighted sum of the risks of the secondary causes which
determine its existence (the effect):
and Rsik represent the risk of the secondary causes which determine the existence of main causes to the left;
and Rdjl represent the risk of the secondary causes which determine the existence of main causes to the
right.
Determining the global risk unfolds according to the following algorithm based on tables or direct
formalizations:
evaluate or determine risks of secondary causes (Rsik and pik; Rdjl and pjl), using any method
which can conduct to plausible results and, obviously, the appropriate formalization;
determine risks of main causes as weighted sums of the secondary causes risks and evaluate or
are determine their weights inside the category they belong to (Rsi and pi; Rdj and pj);
determine risk categories by causes (Rs and Rd) and evaluate or determine their weights in the
global risk (ps and pd);
determine the global risk (Rg) of the effect (event).
1,p;RspRs
n
1i
i
n
1i
ii =
==
=
=
==
=
=
==
==
==
=
1,p;RdpRd
m
1j
j
m
j
j
=
==
=
=
==
=
=
==
==
==
=1j
1,p;RspRs
ki,
ikiki ik
=
==
=
=
==
=
k,i
1,p;RdpRd
lj,
jljljlj =
==
=
=
==
=
l,j
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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We note that determining the weights can also be realized in another order than the one presented in the
algorithm, taking in regard that weights are evaluated, are deducted or determined from other isomorphic
tests or from events occurrence simulation.
For the accuracy of weights assessment, they are presented in a weights table or in a matrix (a map) of them
(Table 3 and Table 4). Usually in this tables are not written the weights of cause’s categories.
TABLE 3 – TABLE OF MAIN AND SECONDARY CAUSES WEIGHTS
CODE
CURRENT
ISSUE MAIN
CAUSES
SECONDARY
CAUSES
WEIGHTS OF
SECONDARY
CAUSES
WEIGHTS
CONTROL
WEIGHTS
OF MAIN
CAUSES
WEIGHTS
CONTROL
1
1.1.
1.2.
S1
S11
S12
0,70
0,30
1 0,51
2
2.1.
2.2.
S2
S21
S22
0,35
0,65
1 0,33
3
3.1.
3.2.
S3
S31
S32
0,21
0,79
1 0,16
1
4
4.1.
4.2.
D1
D11
D12
0,70
0,30
1 0,42
5
5.1.
D2
D21
1
1 0,22
6
6.1.
6.2.
D3
D31
D32
0,31
0,69
1 0,36
1
Causes settlement in the weights matrix represents another form of weights presentation, with the advantage
of disclosure of direct relations between main and secondary causes.
Determining the global risk (in the case presently analyzed – the risk of loosing specialists) unfolds according
to the following algorithm:
determine secondary risks causes (Rsik and Rdjl);
determine main risks causes (Rsi and Rdj);
determine categories risks by secondary causes (Rs and Rd);
determine global risk (Rg).
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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TABLE 4 – THE MATRIX OF MAIN, SECONDARY CAUSE WEIGHTS AND THEIR CATEGORIES
MAIN CAUSES
SECONDARY
CAUSES/
CATEGORIES S1 S2 S3 D1 D2 D3
WEIGHTS
CONTROL
EFFECT
WEIGHT
S11
S12
0,70
0,30
Weight control 1
S21
S22
0,35
0,65
Weight control 1
S31
S32
0,21
0,79
Weight control 1
D11
D12
0,70
0,30
Weight control 1
D21 1
D31
D32
0,31
0,69
Weight control 1
Left side category S. 0,51 0,33 0,16 1 0,44
Right side category D 0,42 0,22 0,36 1 0,56
Weight control 1
Respecting the algorithm, to apply Fishbone diagram method in the case of loosing specialists, calculations
are conducted as follows:
(I). Determining the risks of secondary causes basis on formalization (R = p
I), according to which
the risk (R) is equal to the product of multiplication between the event occurrence probability (p) and
the impact (the consequences) of its occurrence (I).
The probabilities and the impact of the occurrence of this events are evaluated with different methods,
presented in (Ciocoiu, 2008) and (Ilie, 2009), and are centralized in the table of probabilities and impact
(consequences) of the secondary causes occurrence (Table 5).
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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Taking into consideration the frequency of the secondary cause’s occurrence, their probabilities can be the
same for the entire group of causes or the same for different groups or categories of causes. In what regards
the impact is unlikely for them to be the same.
In the case presently analyzed were evaluated equal probabilities for the secondary causes which determine
a main cause, while the impact was differently evaluated for each secondary cause.
TABLE 5 – TABLE OF SECONDARY CAUSES PROBABILITIES AND IMPACT
Current
issue CAUSE PROBABILITY (p) IMPACT (I) RISK (R)
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
S11
S12
S21
S22
S31
S32
D11
D12
D21
D31
D32
0,32
0,32
0,51
0,51
0,38
0,38
0,66
0,66
1
0,78
0,78
0,69
0,44
0,78
0,65
0,50
0,82
1
0,77
0,36
0,54
0,77
0,22
0,14
0,40
0,33
0,19
0,31
0,66
0,51
0,36
0,42
0,55
(II). Determining the risks of main causes basis on the formalization of the relation between the risk of
secondary causes and their weights in determining a main cause (Table 3 and Table 4).
In the case presently analyzed:
Rs1 = ps11
Rs11 +
++
+ ps12
Rs12
Rs2 = ps21
Rs21 +
++
+ ps22
Rs22
Rs3 = ps31
Rs31 +
++
+ ps32
Rs32
Rd1 = pd11
Rd11 +
++
+ pd12
Rd12
Rd2 = pd21
Rd21
Rd3 = pd31
Rd31 +
++
+ pd32
Rd32.
So:
Rs1 = 0,70
0,22 +
++
+ 0,30
0,14 = 0,16 +
++
+ 0,04 = 0,20
Rs2 = 0,35
0,40 +
++
+ 0,65
0,33 = 0,14 +
++
+ 0,22 = 0,36
Rs3 = 0,21
0,19 +
++
+ 0,79
0,31 = 0,04 +
++
+ 0,25 = 0,29
Rd1 = 0,70
0,66 +
++
+ 0,30
0,51 = 0,46 +
++
+ 0,15 = 0,61
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
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Rd2 = 1
0,36 = 0,36
Rd3 = 0,31
0,42+
++
+ 0,69
0,55 = 0,13 +
++
+ 0,38 = 0,51
(III). Determining categories risks of secondary causes basis on the formalization of the weighted
sum of the risks of secondary causes which belong to that category.
In the case presently analyzed:
Rs = p1
Rs1 +
++
+ p2
Rs2 +
++
+ p3
Rs3
Rd = p1
Rd1 +
++
+ p2
Rd2 +
++
+ p3
Rd3
So:
Rs = 0,51
0,20 +
++
+ 0,33
0,36 +
++
+ 0,16
0,29 = 0,10 +
++
+ 0,12 +
++
+ 0,05 = 0,27
Rd = 0,42
0,61 +
++
+ 0,22
0,36 +
++
+ 0,36
0,51 = 0,26 +
++
+ 0,08 +
++
+ 0,18 = 0,52.
(IV). Determining the global risk basis on the formalization of the weighted sum of the risks of the
cause’s categories.
In the case presently analyzed:
Rg = 0,44
0,27
+
++
+
0,56
0,52 = 0,12
+
++
+
0,29 = 0,41.
6. INTERPRETATION OF RESULTS OBTAINED
On the risk scale with five levels (NEGLIGIBLE, MINOR, MEDIUM, MAJOR and DISASTER), the value 0,41
for the global risk of the effect loosing specialists situates it in the risk area MEDIUM (2,05 equivalent for
the scale from 0 to 5). At the same time, the risks of main causes and of the categories of main causes
frames the event characterized by risk in a vulnerability area described in the table presented in Table 6.
TABLE 6 – VULNERABILITIES TABLE
CURRENT
ISSUE CAUSE CODE RISK VALUE RISK AREA
1 Management S1 0,20 (1) NEGLIGIBLE
2 Organization S2 0,36 (1,8) MINOR
3 Location S3 0,29 (1,45) MINOR
4 Market D1 0,61 (3,05) MAJOR
5 Professional horizon D2 0,36 (1,8) MINOR
6 Benefits D3 0,51(2,55) MEDIUM
7 Left Category S 0,27 (1,35) MINOR
8 Right category D 0,52 (2,6) MEDIUM
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
MANAGEMENT RESEARCH AND PRACTICE Vol. 2 Issue 1 (2010) p: 1-20
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Counteracting the lost of specialists involves risk treatment measures taking into account the vulnerability of
the organization to this threat (determined by the risk value) is MEDIUM, having MINOR vulnerability for the
causes from the category of activity conditions (left) and MEDIUM for the causes from the category of
environment and remuneration (left). In what regards secondary causes, the vulnerability of the organization
to this is:
MAJOR to market action;
MEDIUM to the way of giving benefits;
MINOR to organization, location and professional horizon;
NEGLIGIBLE to management quality.
Another way to interpret risk values is conditioned by the comparison of the values obtained with those
established as an acceptance level.
Assuming that the acceptance level (Rp) for the risk of loosing specialists is of 0,30 (MINOR – 1,5), compare
the value obtained for the global risk (0,41; 2,05 - MEDIUM) and if:
Rg <
<<
< Rp
the risk can be neglected and so does not require immediate treatment measures (for
improvement), and if Rg >
>>
> Rp
the risk must be treated (improved) through immediate measures.
In the case presently analyzed,
Rg = 0,41 (2,05)
>
>>
>
Rp = 0,3 (1,5) and therefore treatment measures are required.
TABLE 7 – TABLE OF TREATMENT CAUSES NECESSITY
CURRENT
ISSUE CAUSE /CATEGORY SITUATION NECESSITY OF MEASURES
1 S1 0,20
<
0,30 NO
2 S2 0,36
>
0,30 YES
3 S3 0,29
<
0,30 NO
4 D1 0,61
>
0,30 YES
5 D2 0,36
>
0,30 YES
6 D3 0,51
>
0,30 YES
7 S 0,27
<
0,30 NO
8 D 0,52
>
0,30 YES
On a more complete analysis both the risk of the effect and the main causes (sometimes even the secondary
ones) are compared against a risk of level and conclusions can be held regarding the repartition of treatment
(improvement) measures for the risks on causes. Level risks can be equal with those of the global level risk
or they can be different. To simplify the analysis consider the risk level of all secondary causes and of all risk
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categories is equal with that of the effect (0,3; 1,5). The conclusions of the analysis made regarding this level
are presented in the table in Table 7.
As the difference between the risk values determined and the level imposed is bigger, the intense the
treatment (improvement) measures must be and applied as soon as possible.
The advantage of this kind of analysis is that in the absence of sufficient resources they can be concentrated
in a different way on specific measures, and time horizons can be better established.
7. HIERARCHY OF CAUSES
For a more suggestive presentation of the cause contribution to the organization vulnerability, is used the
model of their hierarchical (Ilie, 2009), by weighting towards the value of the main cause (the biggest value)
and their representation on a suggestive graphic. To determine the hierarchy the table in Table 8 is used.
TABLE 8 - TABLE OF CAUSES HIERARCHY
CURRENT
ISSUE CAUSE SIZE HIERARCHY
1 S1 0,20 5
2 S2 0,36 3
3 S3 0,29 4
4 D1 0,61 1
5 D2 0,36 3
6 D3 0,51 2
For presentation causes weights are established according with the biggest risk value. In the case presently
analyzed the biggest value is of 0,61, for which is chosen the measure of 10 units, and for the other causes
the weight is determined multiplying their risk value with the weighting value (Mp), which equals to 10 and
dividing it to the biggest risk value. For the case presently analyzed: Mp = 10 : 0,61= 16,4.
The table of weighted values of the risks for secondary causes is presented in Table 9.
TABLE 9 – TABLE OF WEIGHTED VALUES
CURRENT
ISSUE CODE SIZE WEIGHTED VALUE
1 D1 0,61 10
2 D3 0,51 8,36
3 S2 0,36 5,90
4 D2 0,36 5,90
5 S3 0,29 4,76
6 S1 0,20 3,28
Based on the data from the table of weighted values the graphic of weighted distribution for secondary
causes is realized in Figure 3.
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
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FIGURE 3 – GRAPHIC OF WEIGHTED DISTRIBUTION OF SECONDARY CAUSES
To become more suggestive and to take into account risk values determined for the causes, categories and
effects (global risk), they are positioned on a modified Fishbone diagram, completed with risks sizes which
characterize secondary causes and global risk (Figure 4).
FIGURE 4 – MODIFIED FISHBONE DIAGRAM
This type of diagram is suggestive because it places risks on the horizontal axis at their size, emphasizing, at
the same time, the global risk and those on categories; that is why the modified diagram it is also called
Fishbone risk diagram.
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
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The priority in risks treatment is usually established by the value size of risks for components, so that the first
risks to be treated are those with bigger amplitude.
There are situations when treatment is realizes also in accordance with other criteria, for example: measure
of frequency or of the impact.
Regardless of the chosen criteria for treatment, where resources are insufficient, treatment can be ranked
with the help of PARETTO method (80/20), which establishes that treating 80% of the elements is important
to solve one problem. The rest of 20% usually doesn’t change substantially the record.
For this thing, the risks of main causes are positioned in a table, starting with the one having the biggest risk
value and the cumulative weight is calculated to determine the value of 80%, where treatment can be
stopped (Table 10).
TABLE 10 – TABLE OF PARETTO WEIGHTS
CURRENT
ISSUE
CAUSE
CODE RISK VALUE WEIGHT CUMULATIVE
WEIGHT
1 D3 0,61 0,26 0,26
2 D1 0,51 0,22 0,48
3 D2 0,36 0,15 0,63
4 S2 0,36 0,15 0,78
5 S3 0,29 0,13 0,91
6 S1 0,20 0,09 1
The weight is calculated dividing the risk value of each cause to the cumulative value of the risks: 2,33.
Following analysis on the table (choosing causes which frame the 80%), it is established that the first 4
causes will be treated with priority: D3, D1, D2 and S2. The other two causes will be treated only if there are
resources or at the time when resources are appropriately supplemented.
8. FISHBONE DIAGRAM STRUCTURED ACCORDING TO CAUSES AFFILIATION
To observe only the representation difference of Fishbone diagram we will analyze the same effect of
“loosing specialists”, this time sharing the main causes according to their affiliation at the process and at the
environment.
Main endogenous causes are those of management, organization, professional horizon, benefits and location
(placed on the left side of the diagram axis), while the only exogenous cause is the market (placed on the
right side) (Figure 5).
80%
20%
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
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FIGURE 5 – FISHBONE DIAGRAM STRUCTURED ACCORDING TO CAUSE AFFILIATION
The table of cause codification according to the new criteria is presented in Table 11.
TABLE 11 – TABLE FOR CAUSE CODIFICATION ACCORDING TO THE NEW CRITERIA
CURRENT ISSUE CAUSE SUB-CAUSE CODE
1 Management S1
1.1 Lack of efficiency S11
1.2 Conflict situations S12
2 Organization S2
2.1 Excessive hierarchy S21
2.2 Ineffective communication S22
3 Professional horizon S3
3.1 Deprofessionalization S31
4. Benefits S4
4.1 Reduced salaries S41
4.2 Lack of incentives S42
5 Locations S5
5.1 Peripheral area S51
5.2 Poor conditions S52
6 Market D
6.1 Big demand of specialists D11
6.2 Low competitiveness D12
INCENTIVES
AREA
PROFESSIONAL
HORIZON
LACK OF
SALARIES
COMPETITIVENESS
LOW
SPECIALISTS
BIG DEMAND FOR
LACK OF
EFFICIENCY
COMMUNICATION
INEFFECTIVE
HIERARCHY
EXCESSIVE
DEPROFESSIO
-
NALIZATION
CONDITIONS
POOR
PERIPHERAL
REDUCED
LOOSING
SPECIALISTS
MARKET
CONFLICT
SITUATIONS
LOCATION
MANAGEMENT BENEFITS
ORGANIZATION
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After realizing the initial diagram structured after the affiliation of main causes and establishing their new
codification, we pass on to determining the global risk complying with the same algorithm as in the first case.
Determining risks of secondary causes is realized with the same formalization R = p
I, the final
results being shown in the probabilities, impact and risks of secondary causes table (Table 12).
Because the same secondary causes were kept, regardless of the new positioning of the main
causes, the risks determined for the secondary causes remain the same as in the previous case,
obviously changing only their positioning inside the table.
TABLE 12 – TABLE OF RESTRUCTURED MAIN CAUSES PROBABILITIES AND IMPACT
CURRENT
ISSUE CAUSE PROBABILITY IMPACT RISK
1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
S11
S12
S21
S22
S31
S41
S42
S51
S52
D11
D12
0,32
0,32
0,51
0,51
1
0,78
0,78
0,38
0,38
0,66
0,66
0,69
0,44
0,78
0,65
0,36
0,54
0,71
0,50
0,82
1
0,77
0,22
0,14
0,40
0,33
0,36
0,42
0,55
0,19
0,31
0,66
0,51
Determining risks of main causes se realized in the same way as in the previous example,
keeping the probabilities of the secondary causes and so:
Rs1= 0,70
0,22 + 0,30
0,14 = 0,22
Rs2= 0,35
0,40 + 0,65
0,33 = 0,36
Rs3=1
0,36 = 0,36
Rs4= 0,31
0,42 + 0,69
0,55= 0,51
Rs5= 0,21
0,19 + 0,79
0,31 = 0,29
Rd=0,70
0,66 + 0,30
0,51= 0, 61
Determining risk categories of secondary risks is realized with the condition to change the weights of
the main causes from the left side category, while the risk in the right side category will be equal to
the risk of the main cause D.
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
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In such circumstances, according to the evaluation methods from the previous case, the weights of the
secondary causes change and become: p1= 0,30; p2= 0, 26; p3= 0,20; p4= 0,13; p5= 0,11. And so the risk of
the category of main causes on the left is:
Rs = p1
Rs1 + p2
Rs2 + p3
Rs3 + p4
Rs4 + p5
Rs5 ,
where Σp1 + p2 + p3 + p4 + p5 = 1.
Rs = 0,30
0,20 + 0,26
0,36 + 0,20
0,36 + 0,13
0,51 + 0,11
0,29 = 0,06 + 0,09 + 0,07 + 0,07 + 0,03 = 0,32
and Rd = 0,61.
Determining global risk is realized with the condition of keeping the weights of the cause
categories, ps and pd, respectively 0,44 and 0,56.
Rg = 0,44
0,32 + 0,56
0,61 = 0,14 + 0,34 = 0,48 .
With the new calculated values the diagram of risks distribution for main causes, categories of main causes
and global risk is realized (Figure 6), according with the affiliation of main causes at the environment and
process.
FIGURE 6 – FISHBONE DIAGRAM STRUCTURED AND MODIFIED
Comparing both modified diagrams (Figure 4 and Figure 6) the following conclusions can be drawn:
structuring according to the affiliation of main causes at the environment and process does not
fundamentally change risks distribution because weights of the secondary causes and the
categories of main causes were not changed;
Ilie G. and. Ciocoiu
C.N.
APPLICATION OF FISHBONE DIAGRAM TO DETERMINE THE RISK OF AN EVENT WITH MULTIPLE CAUSES
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changing repartition density is normal and this will take to changing the structure of risks treatment
measures;
there are other ways to restructure Fishbone diagram but solving the problem which means
determining the global risk does not suffer substantial changes.
9. CONCLUSIONS
Fishbone diagram is a method used to determine the global risk of an event with multiple relevant causes,
relatively easy to apply.
The application realized allows determining the risk of secondary and main causes, of cause’s categories and
of the global risk, allows structuring of treatment measures on vulnerability areas, precisely oriented on the
causes which determine high risk values.
Analysis of causes sequence can be a simple analyze which refers to the multitude of the causes and their
sequence, but can be completed with other representation and hierarchy elements for risks treatment. Also,
the method is used to simulate the dynamic of the process analyzed.
There are no instruments for risk analyze based exclusively on the Fishbone diagram. But there are
instruments which include elements of primary or complementary analyze of this type.
The condition to successfully apply the method proposed here is a correct evaluation of the probabilities,
weights and impact of the causes. As a result of this, the method is recommended especially for initial or
comparative analyzes. Applying the method in relatively more simple cases is an excellent opportunity to
understand the essence of risk analyze, of its bonds with establishing risk treatment measures and the
dynamic evolution of risk values depending on the application of these methods.
REFERENCES
Basic Tools for Process Improvement. (1995, May 3). Retrived December 20, 2009, from Balanced
Scorecard Institute: http://www.balancedscorecard.org/Portals/0/PDF/c-ediag.pdf
Ciocoiu, C. N. (2008). Managementul riscului. Teorii, practici, metodologii. Bucharest: ASE.
Ilie, G. (2009). De la management la guvernare prin risc. Bucharest: UTI Press & Detectiv.
Juran, J. M. (1999). Juran's Quality Handbook (5th Edition). McGraw-Hill.
Straker, D. (n.d.) Cause-Effect Diagram. Retrived January 10, 2010, from QualityTools:
http://syque.com/quality_tools/toolbook/cause-effect/cause-effect.htm
Watson, G. (2004). The Legacy Of Ishikawa. Quality Progress 37(4) , 54-47.
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Managementul riscului. Teorii, practici, metodologii
  • C N Ciocoiu
Ciocoiu, C. N. (2008). Managementul riscului. Teorii, practici, metodologii. Bucharest: ASE.
Cause-Effect Diagram
  • D Straker
Straker, D. (n.d.) Cause-Effect Diagram. Retrived January 10, 2010, from QualityTools: http://syque.com/quality_tools/toolbook/cause-effect/cause-effect.htm
De la management la guvernare prin risc
  • G Ilie
Ilie, G. (2009). De la management la guvernare prin risc. Bucharest: UTI Press & Detectiv.