With the Cause And Effect template, you can diagram the variables that lead to a particular outcome. Cause and effect diagrams are also called fishbone diagrams, after their skeletal appearance, or Ishikawa diagrams, after their inventor, Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, a quality control statistician. They represent a different paradigm from a flowchart, in which one step leads to another. A fishbone diagram shows input from numerous sources, as Figure 9-12 shows, which makes it a great tool for the following:
Figure 9-12. You can create a fishbone diagram with the Cause And Effect template.
When you open the Cause And Effect Diagram template, Visio creates a page that includes a blank fishbone diagram: an effect shape (the spine) and four category boxes, as Figure 9-13 shows. You can add, remove, or reposition the category boxes, and you can add as many cause shapes as you need.
Figure 9-13. Visio sets up the bare bones of a fishbone diagram when you start a diagram with the Cause And Effect template.
Follow these steps to create a fishbone diagram:
Visio creates a letter-sized page with an effect and four category shapes and opens the Cause And Effect Diagram Shapes, Borders And Titles, and Backgrounds stencils.
This text should describe the effect, problem, or objective whose causes you're illustrating.
Fishbone diagrams can quickly become crowded or cluttered. Actually, this is a good sign. Because each bone or rib represents a related idea, a diagram with many branches explores that many more possibilities. However, to make the diagram easier to read, be judicious with the wording you use in labels. Use text to state problems or issues, not solutions.
If long labels overlap other shapes, try one of the following:
Effect, category, and cause shapes are all examples of 1-D shapes. For details about working with text on 1-D shapes, see "Adding Text to Lines and Connectors."
To move cause and category shapes in your diagram, drag the line by its middle, rather than its endpoints, to move the entire shape without changing the line's angle. When you drag a shape that has other shapes glued to it, the shape you drag moves, and the connected shapes stretch to remain attached. To move an entire branch, select all the shapes, as Figure 9-14 shows. To lengthen or shorten lines, drag an endpoint.
Figure 9-14. To move crowded shapes, select a primary cause shape and all the secondary cause shapes, and then drag. If you drag only the primary cause, secondary cause shapes stretch to remain attached.