The 6M Analysis: Exploring and Solving Process Problems

6M Analysis Example

The 6M Ishikawa diagram is an effective tool for analyzing problems within a process. This tool enables managers to categorize possible factors and then create improvement plans for each.

The 6M analysis uses six categories starting with the letter M to find root causes. This technique was originally developed for manufacturing but can be used to dissect any problem or variation in a business process.


The 6M method is an effective tool for exploring and dissecting problems in production or industrial operations. It identifies the potential causes of a problem and helps in making wise decisions. Also known as Fishbone Diagram or Ishikawa Diagram, it enables the organization to examine all the factors involved in the process and foster wholesome operations.

The six categories starting with the letter M of the 6M analysis include Machinery, Materials, Methods, Measurement, Manpower, and Mother Nature. This approach is useful in manufacturing but can be applied to other functions as well. It is essential to keep asking why until the root cause is found.

Mother Nature

Mother Nature consists of the environmental conditions, both controllable and random, that impact the process. This category is often overlooked during problem-solving sessions, but it can play an important role in the overall solution.

Using an Ishikawa diagram is one of the best tools to discover possible root causes for production problems. It can help to organize and structure brainstormed ideas during a problem-solving session. It also allows the team to focus on the most critical causes of the issue. This method of analysis is often used in manufacturing, but it can also be useful for non-manufacturing processes as well. You can sometimes see it referred to as the 6Ms, although Machinery and Mother Nature are dropped.


In the context of a root cause analysis, 6Ms are used to identify and analyze possible causes of a particular effect. The six Ms are Machine, Material, Method, Measurement, Manpower, and Mother Nature. The 6Ms are a useful tool for breaking down complex problems into smaller categories that make it easier to understand the relationships between process inputs and variables.

The first M, Manpower, focuses on the human operators who conduct laboratory investigations. This includes their operational and functional labor as well as their adherence to standard operating procedures. This M also covers their technology proficiency and checks whether it is up to the desired standards.


Machinery is a human-made device that augments or replaces natural human and animal effort for the accomplishment of physical tasks. Its operation may involve transforming chemical, thermal or electrical energy into mechanical energy or vice versa, or it may simply transform, modify and transmit forces and motions. It can include such simple devices as the inclined plane, wedge, wheel and axle and pulley (known as the six simple machines) or such complex systems as modern automobiles.

These example sentences are programmatically generated from various online sources to show how the word machinery is used. This helps to make the site more useful to people.


A fishbone template is a great tool for analyzing problems, finding root causes and presenting the results of a cause and effect analysis. It also helps users break complex problems down to assist in brainstorming and coming up with creative solutions.

In a 6M analysis, the manpower category includes operational and functional labor. This is the part of the process that determines if the personnel are up to standard and their level of technical proficiency.

Other affinities can be added to the diagram, such as mother nature, which refers to natural disasters and other uncontrollable factors. The diagrams are useful for manufacturing, but they can be used in other industries as well.


The sixth category in 6m analysis is manpower. This factor is a key component of any business, and it includes the quality of employees, their training, and their level of proficiency with technology. It also includes aspects like work conditions and workplace culture. Some organizations may replace the word “manpower” with “people” to avoid gender implication.

The 6M method is a useful tool for conducting thorough investigations and dissecting problems in pharmaceutical laboratories. It allows professionals to identify potential causes of issues and take appropriate corrective actions. For example, they can use the model to analyze the cause of low customer satisfaction and improve customer service.

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