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PowerPoint Tutorial #4- Cool Way to Create a Fishbone Diagram for Cause-Effect Analysis

PowerPoint Tutorial #4- Cool Way to Create a Fishbone Diagram for Cause-Effect Analysis

Kirti Saini

Kirti Saini

June 1 2016

When it comes to analyze and present the possible causes and effects of a particular event, the first name that comes to mind is Fishbone diagram. Fishbone diagram is implemented by almost all organizations, irrespective of their size and function. In particular, this graphic performs four major functions:


  1. Helps professionals arrange causes and effects graphically and neatly.
  2. Helps categorize ideas that the team gathers for a fruitful brainstorming session.
  3. Gives an in-depth look into the issues behind the problems that further helps generate potential solutions for those who are determined to obtain the best outcomes.
  4. Assists to build hierarchy of causes.


Fishbone Diagrams you may like
Fishbone Diagrams

It is also called as Ishikawa diagram after its inventor’s name i.e. Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa, who was a pioneer of quality management, and the name Fishbone was given to this visualization due to its Fish-like shape. It works from right to left, where the spinal column is branched out with several other branches showcasing the root causes from minor to major.


Usually when we begin showcasing causes through a fishbone diagram, we end up drawing a diagram with old pattern using lines and boxes. That looks boring and hardly fish-like. This is how the fishbone diagram should actually look like on your slide and what you’ll learn to create yourself through this article:


Professional fishbone diagram PowerPoint Template



Yes, it appear tough to create the above graphic but we’ll share some cool and simple PowerPoint tricks to accomplish the same in less than 10 minutes.


7 Steps to Create a Fishbone Diagram in PowerPoint 2013


Follow the below steps to create an innovative fishbone diagram for your next presentation:


1. Draw a Lateral Line: Go to the Insert tab on your PowerPoint ribbon, select Rectangle from the Shapes menu and create a long rectangle with shorter width as shown below:


Draw a lateral line


2. Create Face: To construct the face, first select the Pie Shape from the Basic Shapes. Now, click on the yellow diamond on the right corner of the pie to drag and relocate the pie to approximately 1800. Next, tilt the fragmented pie leftwards using the rotation handle on top. You can take help of the image given below:


Create the face using a pie


3. Make an Eye: To create an eye, all you need is two Circular/Oval Shapes from the Shapes menu. First create the eye ball by taking a circle and filling it with white color (Right Click- Format Shape- Solid Fill- White Color). Now, take a circle comparatively smaller in size to create the lens.


Creating the fish's eye


4. Build Mouth: For creating the mouth, go to the Shapes menu in the Insert tab again and opt for the Moon shape. Vary the size and shape as displayed in the image below, and place it over the face:


Build the mouth


Your task doesn’t end here. You need to eliminate the unwanted shape by following these simple steps.


  • First, select the face, then press SHIFT key and select the moon shape too.
  • Now, click the Format tab.
  • On left, select the Merge Shapes option.
  • Further, click Subtract.


Merge shapes and create the front of the fish

Bang on! Fish’s face is ready. Not that tough, right?


5. Make the tail: Now, let’s construct tail of the fish. Select the Triangle shape from the Shapes menu > Turn the upper pointed edge to 900 right using the rotation handle > Place it over the left end of the rectangle.


Create the tail of the fish


Now, select the BLOCK ARC shape and drag it further that it covers the base of the triangle properly.


Make the tail end circular


Note: You can increase the transparency of the BLOCK ARC shape, such that you get precise detail of how much triangle is covered using Shape Effects (PRESET 8) in the Format tab.


Apply Preset and adjust the arc shape on triangle


After the shape effect, the image will look like this.


Merge arc and triangle shape


Select the triangle and the Block Arc shape (keep the Shift key pressed while selecting) > once again go to Format> Merge Shapes> Subtract. So, here the fish tail is ready:


Body of the fishbone diagram is ready


6. Create Spinal Column: Make the spinal column using the Moon Shape again. Drag the shape to alter the size and width as per the requirement. Keep the shape to be placed in the middle bigger as compared to the adjacent ones.


Create spinal column of the fish


7. Causes: To write causes, select the Oval Shape from the Shapes menu and place it over one end of the spinal column generated. Copy paste the same for other ends.


Place oval shape for causes


Now, insert a text box, place it over each shape and write the cause.


8. Color: Filling color is quite easy in PowerPoint. Select the shape, right click and click Format Shape.


 a. For Lateral Line, Face and Tail - After selecting all the shapes, select Black color that is 25% lighter as shown in screenshot below.

 b. For the Spinal Column- Keep pressing Shift key and select all columns. Now fill it with grey color.

 c. For Causes - Select gradient fill > click Type: Radial > select Radial gradient Accent-1.


Customize the colors


The Fishbone diagram is professional and grabs immediate attention of the audience. Cause and effect analysis will never be boring again with this design.


Download this stunning fishbone diagram by clicking here.


Are you looking for more fishbone diagram template designs? Scroll below to avail stunning diagrams.


Professional Fishbone Diagram Slide Templates


Stunning fishbone diagram template for problem analysis

Download this awesome fishbone diagram and simply copy paste your content in the slide.


Exclusive root cause analysis fishbone diagram template

You can download this stunning fishbone diagram by clicking here.



Awesome fishbone diagram for cause analysis

Just click here and download this awesome slide template.


Here are some additional Fishbone Diagrams you may like
Fishbone Diagrams

How did you like this tutorial? Share with us your feedback in the comments below.


Do you need professional PowerPoint Designers to help you nail your next presentation? Get in touch with our Presentation Design Agency.

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22 thoughts on “PowerPoint Tutorial #4- Cool Way to Create a Fishbone Diagram for Cause-Effect Analysis”
  1. Wendy Coombes
    Wendy Coombes
    Excellent tutorial, highly recommend. Thank you
    1. slideteam
      Thank you Wendy, glad you liked the tutorial!
  2. Carmen Raya
    Thank you for sharing the Fishbone Tutorial. This is fantastic and very helpful. Keep sharing the tips and tricks on Power Point.

    1. slideteam
      Our pleasure Carmen. Yes, we are regularly sharing exciting tips and tricks on PowerPoint. Stay tuned! :)
  3. Sally
    Looks fantastic
    1. slideteam
      Thank you Sally! :)
  4. Kim Wilson
    Enjoyed session. I have learned a great deal. Thank you!
    1. slideteam
      That's great to hear Kim! Thank you so much.
  5. Arvind Singh concept. Very much liked it. Well done Team
    1. slideteam
      Thank you so much Arvind! :)
  6. Hasan Mollah
    Thanks, By this i have got clear idea to do more diagram like zigzag, process flow chart etc more interesting way. Keep it up
    1. slideteam
      That's nice to hear Hasan. We have updated our blog with more tutorials. Check them out and learn to create more interesting shapes. :)
  7. maharany reza
    maharany reza
    Dear Kirti Saini,
    Wow amazing. I should say, actually it's very useful for my presentation on financial statement analysis manual, however since, in my opinion, I was born too early (in 1948, but still engaged as a consultant for several banks), it takes more time for me, to create that valuable fishbone diagram: cause - effect analysis.

    Anyway, thank you for inspiring me.
    1. slideteam
      We are so glad that you found the tutorial useful, Maharany. Nice to hear your success story too. Wish you presentation success! :)
  8. Tay win
    Very Nice. Thanks for sharing
    1. slideteam
      Our pleasure Taywin! :)
  9. ruben velazquez
    ruben velazquez
    I´m really appreciate this tutorial because for me is my everyday job.
    thanks a lot for that.
    1. slideteam
      Our pleasure Ruben! We are glad our tutorial was useful to you. :)
  10. Yuni
    Very nice and useful. Thank you!
    1. slideteam
      Glad you found it useful, Yuni! :)
  11. Jabeen Ahmed
    Awesome effects.
    Can you share them with me?
    1. slideteam
      Hi Jabeen, thanks. You want us to share the Fishbone Diagram template?
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