Root Causes Fishbone Activity
Purpose: This exercise can help a team identify the most significant factors that influence the key themes that emerged from the Learning Walkthrough evidence. By naming these potential root causes, a school or district can be better poised to focus its efforts on the areas that will provide the greatest leverage for change.
Directions: (Using the attached “fishbone” template)
1. Write the problem in the box at the “head” of the fish.
2. Identify major categories and write them in the boxes. (The diagram has four ribs and boxes, but you may have fewer or more than that. The first time you use this tool, try to use four.)
· Categories may vary depending on the problem. Examples include: students, families, systems and processes, content and curriculum, teachers, school supports, and district supports.
3. For each major category, brainstorm possible causes. Write them next to the appropriate “rib” of the fish. Keep in mind key guidelines for brainstorming
· Let questions flow freely. Generate as many as possible, saying the first thing that comes to your mind. Do not censor your ideas.
· Share brainstormed questions without discussing them. The point of this exercise is to generate questions, not to evaluate or sort them (yet).
· Bolder, unexpected questions are best. Break out of old patterns.
· Even if your idea is similar to something else that has been said, say it anyway. It will keep the creative energies going.
· Do not debate, discuss, sort, or evaluate ideas at this time; do not even say “great idea!”
· Make sure everyone contributes....