Cause and Effect Matrix

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    Does anyone have a good template for a cause and effect matrix that I can use at my organization?

    I’ve done one in powerpoint but it looks so clumsy. I’m looking for a more polished or professional looking cause and effect matrix.

    Also, when you’re doing your cause and effect matrix do you find it beneficial to list it in Excel first, then plot it out on a picture?

    Thank you.


    Pablo Ledesma

    Hi Yuri T.
    I have a good one but its in spanish, It uses Pareto-Ishikawa-5wΒ΄s.
    I donΒ΄t know if it would be helpful, but if you give me your email i will give it to you.


    Chris Seider


    As my colleagues know…I tend to be more inclined to driving results than creating pretty presentations or charts and graphs. Consider just doing a fishbone on a whiteboard or chalk board or a piece of paper WITH your team and then take a picture and scan it in.

    As recently as this week, I was asked to fit into my already tight schedule and mentor a team on how to do a VSM…I know some of my competitors make this a 2 day course. This team found out how to do a BASIC VSM and a strategy of how to fill it out AND we created the process flow for the VSM AND found one way to reduce the cycle time all within 3 hours.

    Now, if you use Minitab’s QC3, you can get the neat feature of doing your fishbone electronically and then transferring the X’s to your process map or vice versa.


    Prabhu V

    Dear all,

    I would like to intimate all here that cause & effect matrix (XY matrix) and cause & effect diagram (Ishikawa’s or fish bone diagram) are different.

    Of course, both aims at same area (root cause identification) however according to me the methodology is different.




    As Chris said, Utility of the diagram is more important than prettiness. Please highlight the critical causes to ensure that the viewers / reviewers of your presentation get the key message.

    QC – Quality companion will help you prepare this very fast. But you would have to buy or use the freeware.

    I would list & affinitise the cause and effect in excel, paper, post it, etc prior to starting to document in ppt, QC…

    you can reach me at [email protected]


    Dinesh Kumar.D

    Hi Yuri, As rightly said by Prabhu, Cause and Effect Matrix is different from Cause and Effect diagram. I can share an excel based C&E template.
    Please reach me at [email protected].

    Dinesh kumar.D
    Chennai, India


    Chris Seider

    I assumed it was the fishbone he was referring to since I read the string of texts….my bad if he meant what I have referred to as the XY matrix many years ago.



    C&E diagram…Ishikawai…Fishbone: The newer versions of Microsoft Visio also allow you to create/customize a nice looking Fishbone Diagram with relative ease. Minitab 16 allows you to create a fishbone but it is more tedious to use (not sure how user friendly Minitab’s QC3 makes creating the diagrams).

    C&E Matrix: I always use a spreadsheet for this one. Again I typically focus on results rather than looks however you can you customize the look of Excel pretty easily and make a very professional product. Using a spreadsheet also allows you to automatically calculate the values and easily sort the items based upon their scoring.

    I’ve seen some use macros to connect a process variable map showing all potential factors to the C&E matrix and then the results of the C&E to the FMEA. The C&E narrows the focus from all process variables to only the 5-10 most important and then another macro copies the top-rated variables from the C&E to an FMEA shell. The RPNs from the FMEA are then used to further narrow the investigation’s focus to a manageable number. It is sometimes a little bit clunky due to the macros but can be used very effectively to quickly narrow the focus of study.



    I have one in Excel that has worked for me. I see @dineshddkdinesh has offered up one as well…if that one doesn’t fit your needs, let me know and I’ll send it to you.

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