Monday, 12 November 2012

NOTE: More on Ishikawa

I recently mentioned the use of Ishikawa diagrams for assistance with problem solving. I have frequently found them to be of value. However, what I had never realised, until my friend Chris Brooks pointed it out, is that there's a PROC ISHIKAWA in SAS! It's part of SAS/QC (for Quality Control of processes), so that's my excuse; I've never used any PROCs from QC.

I recommend the creation of Ishikawa diagrams on paper (as part of a team process, using a white board or something similar). However, it can be useful to create an electronic copy after the event, and PROC ISHIKAWA may be the ideal tool for that purpose if you're licensed for SAS/QC.

PROC ISHIKAWA provides an interactive environment in which you can:

  • add and delete arrows with a mouse. You can also swap, copy, and so forth
  • highlight special problems or critical paths with line styles and colour 
  • display additional data for each of the arrows in a popup notepad 
  • display portions of the diagram in separate windows for increasing or isolating detail. You can also divide sections of the diagram into separate Ishikawa diagrams
  • merge multiple Ishikawa diagrams into a single, master diagram 
  • display any number of arrows and up to ten levels of detail 
  • foliate and defoliate diagrams dynamically 
  • save diagrams for future editing 
  • save diagrams in graphics catalogs or export them to host clipboards or graphics files 
  • customise graphical features such as fonts, arrow types, and box styles
Who knew?!

Thanks for the tip, Chris. Recognition at last ;)