Analysis & Problem Solving – Assignment
*NOTE: This assignment may be submitted either in hard copy form in person in our Week 7 class session, or in file copy online in the “Assignments” section on Blackboard. 
Please do not submit this assignment in email.

1.	Review the Mindtools.com section on Ishikawa (aka: fishbone/cause-and-effect) diagrams as a problem-solving tool at: http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_03.htm. Also review the sample at http://www.mindtools.com/pages/article/newTMC_99.htm.
2.	Choose an actual problem/issue you have experienced at work. On paper or in Microsoft Word:
a.	Describe the problem (effect) clearly.
b.	Construct an Ishikawa diagram exploring possible causes and contributing factors for your issue. If you want to do this in Word:
i.	Open a new blank document, and change the page layout to “Landscape” to give yourself more space for the diagram.
ii.	Use the shape drawing tools to drawl lines for your fishbone structure (in the “Insert” tab, under “Shapes”). Remember you can move these lines around the page at will by selecting the line and moving it. You can move multiple lines by clicking/selecting one line, then control-clicking others to add them to the selection.
iii.	Also on the “Insert” tab, you can insert text boxes to put labels on your diagram. Like the lines, you can move and resize the text boxes by selecting them.
iv.	You can also copy any shape and Control-C (copy), then Control-V (paste) it to re-create the exact shape and then select and move it to wherever you want. This is a fast way of adding text boxes or more lines.
v.	A sample partial Ishikawa diagram is on page 3 of this document. Feel free to open a new Word document, select and copy all the parts off of page 2 and paste them into a new document for your diagram. 
3.	Identify 3 or 4 dimensions upon which to weight the causes in order to prioritize them to address or investigate. A good example is in the Santa Rosa Health Center case – find it here. The factors used by the Santa Rosa team are commonly used.
a.	Construct a prioritization matrix that includes all the identified or hypothesized causal factors from your Ishikawa diagram.
b.	Rate each causal factor from 1-5 on each one of the dimensions. Remember that the higher the rating in each area, the more the factor rises to the top to be investigated or addressed. Therefore, if the factor is feasibility, 5 is most feasible, 1 least. If the factor is cost, 5 is the least costly, 1 is the most costly.
c.	Decide if you want to sum the scores or multiply the scores. Using the sum generally works better if you don’t have a lot of factors, using the product works better if there are many factors. Sort the factors from highest to lowest sum or product. This is the order in which you would go after the causal factors.
d.	A sample Excel spreadsheet is on page 2 of this document.




 

Causal/Contributory Factor	Frequency	Importance	Feasibility	Sum	Product
Factor 1	3	2	5	10	30
Factor 2	1	2	4	7	8
Factor 3	5	3	3	11	45
Factor 4	4	4	2	10	32
Factor 5	1	2	4	7	8
Factor 6	5	3	3	11	45
Factor 7	3	3	3	9	27
Factor 8	4	1	4	9	16
Factor 9	3	2	2	7	12
Factor 10	5	5	2	12	50
Factor 11	2	5	2	9	20
Factor 12	4	2	4	10	32