Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Teaching the Ishikawa's "Fishbone" as a Planning Tool: Responsibility and Action Planning Matrices Applied to Airport Security and Network Security

Academic journal article Academy of Educational Leadership Journal

Teaching the Ishikawa's "Fishbone" as a Planning Tool: Responsibility and Action Planning Matrices Applied to Airport Security and Network Security

Article excerpt


Security at major international airports (USA, UK, Germany, France, Japan, India, and Singapore etc) has embarked upon installation and testing of new security methods especially after 9/11 terrorist attacks on USA. Some of the examples of the new security methods include: new baggage-screening machines, controlling, controlling departure terminal entry and doubling federal security personnel in dozens of airports. The high-tech baggage screeners with advanced X-ray capabilities cost up to $1 million each. Additionally, the expense of airport security personnel is being increased as airport security personnel are being added to the federal employment rolls. The U.S. Congress believes airport security personnel will be better trained and supervised as a federal force. There have been many arguments over whether such increased security equipment or the presence of a federal airport security operation would have precluded or had any effect on the events of September 11. While that debate continues, it does offer the opportunity to apply a well-known Planning/Operations Management technique to assessing the problem by using a reverse-evaluation/ engineering approach.


The reverse engineering application of fishbone analysis (FA) to solve product-related problems and develop end-of-life product strategies is supported by several studies (Barr, Schmidt, Krueger & Twu, 2000; Ishii & Lee, 1996; Lee, Rhee, & Ishii, 1997; Otto & Wood, 1996; Rose & Ishii, 1999). The fishbone diagram has also been utilized to evaluate health care services; first, in a hospital setting to assess and reduce delays in the treatment of patients receiving coronary thrombolytic therapy (Bonetti, 2000) and to identify improvement strategies and training needs for physicians, nurses and other caregivers (Cohen, 2002). The cause and effect value of FA is demonstrated in studies conducted by Yu (1998) and Constantinides (1999) to identify root causes for software coding faults, and to categorize different causes of software communication failure. Finally, the effectiveness of FA used as a planning tool to improve quality processes and increase revenues is demonstrated by Lore (1998), Geerts & McCarthy (2000), Wilcox & Discenza (1994), and Clark (2000).

In the present paper we propose to provide two examples of application of fishbone diagram to (i) Airport security, and (ii) Network security.


The application of a Fishbone (Ishikawa, 1996) diagram to the problem of "how a passenger can board a plane with a weapon" reveals six potential categories of possible causes (Figure 1).These are Method, People, Equipment, Material, Environment, and Measurement. A Responsibility Matrix (2) is then constructed to identify who has ownership of the causes and what action should be taken (Table 1).


Next, an Action Planning Matrix (Table 2) begins with the actions to be taken as identified by the Responsibility Matrix, and further identifies needed resources to support actions, and an expected time frame for results. Each category is presented and discussed in the following.



The Method Category of the Fishbone diagram represents the methods of enforcing security at the airport that could be the possible causes of security breaches. The four possible causes for the passenger boarding the plane with a weapon are Electronic Search Techniques, Ineffective Sampling Methods, Baggage viewing, and Physical Search.

Electronic Search Techniques

Electronic Search Techniques may be ineffective if the equipment is poorly designed or incapable of detecting all possible type of weapons. To ensure efficiency, the equipment should be maintained and calibrated at regular time intervals. This same reasoning applies to all checked baggage. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed


An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.