Tuna, Minnow and Whalebone Diagramming

Improvement Insights Blog

Tuna, Minnow and Whalebone Diagramming

There’s one sure sign that you haven’t narrowed your focus using data analysis. You’ll find it in your fishbone diagram.

Download my free ebook Agile Process Innovation.

“Hi, I’m Jay Arthur, author of “Agile Process Innovation,” “Lean Six Sigma Demystified” and QI Macros [software].

“You know, it was kind of interesting to me… we have a Fishbone Diagram in the QI Macros: we have a small, medium and a large. Somebody called in and said, “In this large [diagram] it doesn’t have this the fifth bone for the environment thing…” Nick on my staff went ahead and put one in there for him, but one of the things I know is if you do a good job with data analysis and narrow your focus, you’re going to end up with a minnowbone diagram, not a whalebone diagram.

“When you start whalebone diagramming, you’re not narrow enough in your focus. Even the medium one, if you fill up all of bars in there, I still think you’re whalebone diagramming. You need to go back, do some data analysis, narrow your focus, find the thing that really needs fixing. When you do that, you’ll end up with a minnowbone diagram: it won’t have that many bones.

“So that’s my Improvement insight for this week: Avoid whalebone diagramming (even tunabone diagramming or salmonbone diagramming), right? Narrow your focus so you get down to a minnowbone diagram.

“Let’s go out and improve something this week.”


This entry was posted by Jay Arthur in Improvement Insights and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink.