1. Select and write a statement about a problem faced by your case study organization; refer to the
SWOT you did in the previous assignment for ideas.
Employee turnover is the problem
Problem statement: Office coffee is undrinkable.
2. Construct a Fishbone Diagram for the problem. Capture the key points from the Fishbone Diagram
under headings in a document as follows (in other words, you do not need to submit it as an actual
diagram shaped like a fish unless you want to):
a) Create headings using the major cause “bones” or categories of the problem. Categories often
(The 4 Ps)
(The 6 Ms)
(may vary so customize to the main steps in
• Mother Nature
• Identify Clients/ Customers
• Advertise Product/ Service
• Create/Purchase Product
• Sell Product
• Ship Product
• Provide Follow‐up/ Maintenance
I have determined that some of the Manufacturing categories fit my problem best so I label the
categories Machines, Methods, Materials, Measurements, People (Environment doesn’t seem to fit so I
leave it out).
b) Under the appropriate category “bone’ heading, list the related main causes. Feel free to ask
others in your case study organization or elsewhere to brainstorm with you. Some causes may
be put in more than one category and that is permissible, so don’t get stuck on where to put
Under Materials I have:
• Brand of Coffee
• Coffee Filter
c) Determine the deeper causes of each main cause by asking yourself (and those you are involving
in the brainstorming) why each individual main cause identified in b) is happening. List these
deeper causes under the appropriate main cause(s) to get further at the root cause of the
problem. See how many layers of sub‐headings/bones you can get. If you are drawing a
Fishbone, these would be shown as the finer “bones”. (See the questions and pictures on pages
37 and 39 of the Memory Jogger.)
Brand of Coffee:
‐Not important to Office Manager
‐Office Manager doesn’t drink coffee
‐No feedback to Manager on importance to others
‐Cutbacks in all office budgets
‐Coffee buyer chooses poor quality brand
‐Buys cheapest brand
‐No feedback process
‐Doesn’t drink coffee
‐Gets to keep the change
‐Available Brands are limited
‐Company has an account with a small supplier
As you go through the various categories there will be some major and/or recurring causes showing up
in several places.
3. What are one or two main root causes of the problem, as identified through your Fishbone Diagram
analysis of all the categories?
4. Write a detailed description of at least two distinctly different courses of action you could
recommend to management to address the main root cause(s) and how it would solve the problem.
Write them down under the titles: Recommendation #1, and Recommendation #2, etc.
5. Identify which Recommendation you would choose as a decision‐maker in your case study
organization and clearly explain why. Your answer must describe how this recommendation would
fit with and support the case study organization’s mission, vision and corporate
goals/priorities/objectives and how the internal environment and organization’s structure were
considered in your decision.
6. Explain how the organization’s strengths, weaknesses, threats and opportunities (SWOT) have been