Xikawa Help



How to use Cause and Effect Diagrams

How to use Xikawa



Cause and Effect diagrams, often called fishbones because of the similar shape, are simple tools to help keep a clear picture of the things that cause an effect. They are not difficult to understand or do. They are much like any practice in that the act of following a process often keeps people from loosing focus. Imagine drawing kanji or doing yoga or shooting hoops, simple skills produce enjoyable results.

What effect are you interested diagramming?. Sometimes it is a problem, sometimes it is future outcome. Regardless, try to stay descriptive and think about if the effect is measurable.


How to Install Xikawa:

Unzip the download from sourceforge into a folder that is on a web server. Make sure the folder allows scripts to be run.  V0.08 will have a security model but until then make sure access is granted to the audience you wish. Read the 'read_me_ - release_notes.htm' to learn how to set up a simple password system for public folders.

You start Xikawa by opening a browser and entering the URL of an existing Xikawa  Diagram.  NEW.XML is a good starting diagram as is SAMPLE.XML

Click on EDIT. The edit links will then appear on the diagram. Start at the EDIT EFFECT TEXT Button. Enter the text about the effect you have decided to focus on 

There are causes to the effects that we are interested in.  In simple things these are one to one. In the more interesting and difficult items there are many causes to an effect. Communicating the complexity of an effect is how Dr. Kaoru Ishikawa used the fishbone Diagram as part of the Quality revolution that started in Japan in the second half of the 1900s.

The causes can be collected into categories that help communicate the complexity and lead to solutions that are not clearly seen before diagramming .


You add a Category to a fishbone by clicking on the ADD CATEGORY link at the end of spine of the fishbone.

A CATEGORY has two features. The TEXT describing the feature and  a link to a URL that  supports the CATEGORY.

Causes are things that contribute to the effect. They can be under your control or not. They can be small  or large but should be interesting as part of the story you are trying to communicate to others.

You add a Cause to a fishbone by clicking the ADD A CAUSE link next to the CATAGORY you want the cause to be grouped in. To edit or delete a cause there are one letter links in front of each cause E for EDIT and D for DELETE. Causes have two features a link that allows you to enter a URL for the cause and a value that allows you to put 4 character text in red in front of the cause

The power of sharing and authoring is what Cause and Effect diagramming is all about. People being able to understand a story  of complexity from a simple device.   The authors of the cause and effect diagram  are the context  experts of the situation and  should take care to brand there work so that others can  find them and learn.   



 Finally you brand your fishbone with the information about it's use and creation.

Click on the EDIT  DIAGRAM ATTIBUTES just below the EFFEC box to edit the various branding values. A series of questions for the Title, Author, Footer Update Date….  There is also a button to change the size of your fishbone but it does not change the fonts at this time.


Storing communicating.  Fishbones are most useful when available to others to view. Printing, storing on web sites and  presenting are very important to make the story have influence






Viewing and editing Xikawa Diagrams happens in the same page. The EDIT link toggles with a END EDIT link.  This allows the user to see the effect of the changes.

Be SURE to click SAVE before you leave the EDIT mode as there is no reminder to save as you exit.   Also if you  are not sure that your server is set up correctly, be sure to Click SEE XML and copy the XML into your paste buffer.  You can store through notepad if the save fails.


 Copyright Dec 2002 by Exprexxo

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