Draw the horizontal 'spine' of the diagram and write the problem or 'effect' in the box on the right (at the 'head'). To make the diagram more fun, copy and laminate a fish head and tail, which you can stick on your diagram using Blu-Tack.
Now decide how many ribs (representing 'causes') to use, and what they will be called. There are several options you can take.
You might use the 'four Ms', which groups the causes of your problem into four major categories: manpower, methods, machines and materials. Or you might use PEM-PEM, which groups the causes of your problem into six major categories: plant, equipment, materials, people, environment and methods. Or you could just brainstorm your own list of likely families of causes. If you use the 'four Ms' approach, the diagram will look like .
Using three or six sheets of flipchart paper taped together also presents you with another problem - do you have a wall large enough to hang it on? If not, consider trying this rather bold approach. Lay the diagram flat on the floor and ask everyone to take their shoes off. There is something bizarre about taking one's shoes off in a conventional setting, which releases all sorts of inhibitions. Why take your shoes off? If you don't, you run the risk of tearing the diagram as people clamber over each other to write their ideas. Anyway, it is more fun!