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8D Problem Solving Process

Solving major problems in a disciplined way.

By the Mind Tools Content Team

(Also known as Global 8D Problem Solving)

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

When your company runs into a major problem, you need to address it quickly. However, you also need to deal with it thoroughly and ensure that it doesn't recur – and this can take a lot of effort and elapsed time.

The 8D Problem Solving Process helps you do both of these seemingly-contradictory things, in a professional and controlled way. In this article, we'll look at the 8D Problem Solving Process, and we'll discuss how you can use it to help your team solve major problems.

Origins of the Tool

The Ford Motor Company® developed the 8D (8 Disciplines) Problem Solving Process, and published it in their 1987 manual, "Team Oriented Problem Solving (TOPS)." In the mid-90s, Ford added an additional discipline, D0: Plan. The process is now Ford's global standard, and is called Global 8D.

Ford created the 8D Process to help teams deal with quality control and safety issues; develop customized, permanent solutions to problems; and prevent problems from recurring. Although the 8D Process was initially applied in the manufacturing, engineering, and aerospace industries, it's useful and relevant in any industry.

The eight disciplines are shown in figure 1, below:

Figure 1: The 8D Problem Solving Process

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

The 8D Process works best in teams tasked with solving a complex problem with identifiable symptoms. However, you can also use this process on an individual level, as well.

Applying the Tool

To use the 8D Process, address each of the disciplines listed below, in order. Take care not to skip steps, even when time is limited; the process is only effective when you follow every step.

Discipline 0: Plan

Before you begin to assemble a team to address the problem, you need to plan your approach. This means thinking about who will be on the team, what your time frame is, and what resources you'll need to address the problem at hand.

Discipline 1: Build the Team

You should aim to put together a team that has the skills needed to solve the problem, and that has the time and energy to commit to the problem solving process.

Keep in mind that a diverse team is more likely to find a creative solution than a team of people with the same outlook (although if outlooks are too diverse, people can spend so much time disagreeing that nothing gets done).

Create a team charter that outlines the team's goal and identifies each person's role. Then, do what you can to build trust and get everyone involved in the process that's about to happen.

If your team is made up of professionals who haven't worked together before, consider beginning with team-building activities to ensure that everyone is comfortable working with one another.

Discipline 2: Describe the Problem

Once your team has settled in, describe the problem in detail. Specify the who, what, when, where, why, how, and how many; and use techniques like CATWOE and the Problem-Definition Process to ensure that you're focusing on the right problem.

Start by doing a Risk Analysis – if the problem is causing serious risks, for example, to people's health or life, then you need to take appropriate action. (This may include stopping people using a product or process until the problem is resolved.)

If the problem is with a process, use a Flow Chart , Swim Lane Diagram , or Storyboard to map each step out; these tools will help your team members understand how the process works, and, later on, think about how they can best fix it.

Discovering the root cause of the problem comes later in the process, so don't spend time on this here. Right now, your goal is to look at what's going wrong and to make sure that your team understands the full extent of the problem.

Discipline 3: Implement a Temporary Fix

Once your team understands the problem, come up with a temporary fix. This is particularly important if the problem is affecting customers, reducing product quality, or slowing down work processes.

Harness the knowledge of everyone on the team. To ensure that each person's ideas are heard, consider using brainstorming techniques such as Round Robin Brainstorming or Crawford's Slip Writing Method , alongside more traditional team problem solving discussions.

Once the group has identified possible temporary fixes, address issues such as cost, implementation time, and relevancy. The short-term solution should be quick, easy to implement, and worth the effort.

Discipline 4: Identify and Eliminate the Root Cause

Once your temporary fix is in place, it's time to discover the root cause of the problem.

Conduct a Cause and Effect Analysis to identify the likely causes of the problem. This tool is useful because it helps you uncover many possible causes, and it can highlight other problems that you might not have been aware of. Next, apply Root Cause Analysis to find the root causes of the problems you've identified.

Once you identify the source of the problem, develop several permanent solutions to it.

If your team members are having trouble coming up with viable permanent solutions, use the Straw Man Concept to generate prototype solutions that you can then discuss, tear apart, and rebuild into stronger solutions.

Discipline 5: Verify the Solution

Once your team agrees on a permanent solution, make sure that you test it thoroughly before you fully implement it, in the next step.

  • Conducting a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) to spot any potential problems.
  • Using Impact Analysis to make sure that there will be no unexpected future consequences.
  • Using Six Thinking Hats to examine the fix from several different emotional perspectives.

Last, conduct a Blind Spot Analysis to confirm that you and your team haven't overlooked a key factor, or made an incorrect assumption about this solution.

Discipline 6: Implement a Permanent Solution

Once your team reaches a consensus on the solution, roll your fix out. Monitor this new solution closely for an appropriate period of time to make sure that it's working correctly, and ensure that there are no unexpected side effects.

Discipline 7: Prevent the Problem From Recurring

When you're sure that the permanent solution has solved the problem, gather your team together again to identify how you'll prevent the problem from recurring in the future.

You might need to update your organization's standards, policies, procedures, or training manual to reflect the new fix. You'll likely also need to train others on the new process or standard. Finally, you'll need to consider whether to change your management practices or procedures to prevent a recurrence.

Discipline 8: Celebrate Team Success

The last step in the process is to celebrate and reward your team's success . Say "thank you" to everyone involved, and be specific about how each person's hard work has made a difference. If appropriate, plan a party or celebration to communicate your appreciation.

Before the team disbands, conduct a Post-Implementation Review to analyze whether your solution is working as you thought, and to improve the way that you solve problems in the future.

In the late 1980s, Ford Motor Company developed the 8D (8 Disciplines) Problem Solving Process to help manufacturing and engineering teams diagnose, treat, and eliminate quality problems. However, teams in any industry can use this problem solving process.

The eight disciplines are:

  • Build the Team.
  • Describe the Problem.
  • Implement a Temporary Fix.
  • Identify and Eliminate the Root Cause.
  • Verify the Solution.
  • Implement a Permanent Solution.
  • Prevent the Problem From Recurring.
  • Celebrate Team Success.

The 8D Problem Solving Process is best used with a team solving complex problems; however, individuals can also use it to solve problems on their own.

Ford is a registered trademark of the Ford Motor Company: https://www.ford.com/

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Quality-One

Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

– Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving –

⇓   Introduction to 8D

⇓   What is 8D

⇓   Why Apply 8D

⇓   When to Apply 8D

⇓   How to Apply 8D

Quality and Reliability Support | Quality-One

Introduction to Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D) is a problem solving methodology designed to find the root cause of a problem, devise a short-term fix and implement a long-term solution to prevent recurring problems. When it’s clear that your product is defective or isn’t satisfying your customers, an 8D is an excellent first step to improving Quality and Reliability.

Ford Motor Company developed this problem solving methodology, then known as Team Oriented Problem Solving (TOPS), in the 1980s. The early usage of 8D proved so effective that it was adopted by Ford as the primary method of documenting problem solving efforts, and the company continues to use 8D today.

8D has become very popular among manufacturers because it is effective and reasonably easy to teach. Below you’ll find the benefits of an 8D, when it is appropriate to perform and how it is performed.

What is Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D problem solving process is a detailed, team oriented approach to solving critical problems in the production process. The goals of this method are to find the root cause of a problem, develop containment actions to protect customers and take corrective action to prevent similar problems in the future.

The strength of the 8D process lies in its structure, discipline and methodology. 8D uses a composite methodology, utilizing best practices from various existing approaches. It is a problem solving method that drives systemic change, improving an entire process in order to avoid not only the problem at hand but also other issues that may stem from a systemic failure.

8D has grown to be one of the most popular problem solving methodologies used for Manufacturing, Assembly and Services around the globe. Read on to learn about the reasons why the Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving may be a good fit for your company.

8D - Problem Solving Format

Why Apply Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D methodology is so popular in part because it offers your engineering team a consistent, easy-to-learn and thorough approach to solving whatever problems might arise at various stages in your production process. When properly applied, you can expect the following benefits:

  • Improved team oriented problem solving skills rather than reliance on the individual
  • Increased familiarity with a structure for problem solving
  • Creation and expansion of a database of past failures and lessons learned to prevent problems in the future
  • Better understanding of how to use basic statistical tools required for problem solving
  • Improved effectiveness and efficiency at problem solving
  • A practical understanding of Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
  • Problem solving effort may be adopted into the processes and methods of the organization
  • Improved skills for implementing corrective action
  • Better ability to identify necessary systemic changes and subsequent inputs for change
  • More candid and open communication in problem solving discussion, increasing effectiveness
  • An improvement in management’s understanding of problems and problem resolution

8D was created to represent the best practices in problem solving. When performed correctly, this methodology not only improves the Quality and Reliability of your products but also prepares your engineering team for future problems.

When to Apply Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D problem solving process is typically required when:

  • Safety or Regulatory issues has been discovered
  • Customer complaints are received
  • Warranty Concerns have indicated greater-than-expected failure rates
  • Internal rejects, waste, scrap, poor performance or test failures are present at unacceptable levels

How to Apply Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D process alternates inductive and deductive problem solving tools to relentlessly move forward toward a solution. The Quality-One approach uses a core team of three individuals for inductive activities with data driven tools and then a larger Subject Matter Expert (SME) group for the deductive activities through brainstorming, data-gathering and experimentation.

D0: Prepare and Plan for the 8D

Proper planning will always translate to a better start. Thus, before 8D analysis begins, it is always a good idea to ask an expert first for their impressions. After receiving feedback, the following criterion should be applied prior to forming a team:

Collect information on the symptoms

Use a Symptoms Checklist to ask the correct questions

Identify the need for an Emergency Response Action (ERA), which protects the customer from further exposure to the undesired symptoms

D1: Form a Team

A Cross Functional Team (CFT) is made up of members from many disciplines. Quality-One takes this principle one step further by having two levels of CFT:

  • The Core Team Structure should involve three people on the respective subjects: product, process and data
  • Additional Subject Matter Experts are brought in at various times to assist with brainstorming, data collection and analysis

Teams require proper preparation. Setting the ground rules is paramount. Implementation of disciplines like checklists, forms and techniques will ensure steady progress.  8D must always have two key members: a Leader and a Champion / Sponsor:

  • The Leader is the person who knows the 8D process and can lead the team through it (although not always the most knowledgeable about the problem being studied)
  • The Champion or Sponsor is the one person who can affect change by agreeing with the findings and can provide final approval on such changes

D2: Describe the Problem

The 8D method’s initial focus is to properly describe the problem utilizing the known data and placing it into specific categories for future comparisons. The “Is” data supports the facts whereas the “Is Not” data does not. As the “Is Not” data is collected, many possible reasons for failure are able to be eliminated. This approach utilizes the following tools:

  • Problem Statement
  • Affinity Diagram (Deductive tool)
  • Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagram (Deductive tool)
  • Problem Description

D3: Interim Containment Action

In the interim, before the permanent corrective action has been determined, an action to protect the customer can be taken. The Interim Containment Action (ICA) is temporary and is typically removed after the Permanent Correct Action (PCA) is taken.

  • Verification of effectiveness of the ICA is always recommended to prevent any additional customer dissatisfaction calls

D4: Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Escape Point

The root cause must be identified to take permanent action to eliminate it. The root cause definition requires that it can be turned on or off, at will. Activities in D4 include:

  • Comparative Analysis listing differences and changes between “Is” and “Is Not”
  • Development of Root Cause Theories based on remaining items
  • Verification of the Root Cause through data collection
  • Review Process Flow Diagram for location of the root cause
  • Determine Escape Point, which is the closest point in the process where the root cause could have been found but was not

D5: Permanent Corrective Action (PCA)

The PCA is directed toward the root cause and removes / changes the conditions of the product or process that was responsible for the problem. Activities in D5 include:

  • Establish the Acceptance Criteria which include Mandatory Requirements and Wants
  • Perform a Risk Assessment /  Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) on the PCA choices
  • Based on risk assessment, make a balanced choice for PCA
  • Select control-point improvement for the Escape Point
  • Verification of Effectiveness for both the PCA and the Escape Point are required

D6: Implement and Validate the Permanent Corrective Action

To successfully implement a permanent change, proper planning is essential. A project plan should encompass: communication, steps to complete, measurement of success and lessons learned. Activities in D6 include:

  • Develop Project Plan for Implementation
  • Communicate the plan to all stakeholders
  • Validation of improvements using measurement

D7: Prevent Recurrence

D7 affords the opportunity to preserve and share the knowledge, preventing problems on similar products, processes, locations or families. Updating documents and procedures / work instructions are expected at this step to improve future use. Activities in D7 include:

  • Review Similar Products and Processes for problem prevention
  • Develop / Update Procedures and Work Instructions for Systems Prevention
  • Capture Standard Work / Practice and reuse
  • Assure FMEA updates have been completed
  • Assure Control Plans have been updated

D8: Closure and Team Celebration

Teams require feedback to allow for satisfactory closure. Recognizing both team and individual efforts and allowing the team to see the previous and new state solidifies the value of the 8D process. Activities in D8 include:

  • Archive the 8D Documents for future reference
  • Document Lessons Learned on how to make problem solving better
  • Before and After Comparison of issue
  • Celebrate Successful Completion

8D - D0 Reference Card

8D and Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

The 8D process has Root Cause Analysis (RCA) imbedded within it. All problem solving techniques include RCA within their structure. The steps and techniques within 8D which correspond to Root Cause Analysis are as follows:

  • Problem Symptom is quantified and converted to “Object and Defect”
  • Problem Symptom is converted to Problem Statement using Repeated Whys
  • Possible and Potential Causes are collected using deductive tools (i.e. Fishbone or Affinity Diagram)
  • Problem Statement is converted into Problem Description using Is / Is Not
  • Problem Description reduces the number of items on the deductive tool (from step 3)
  • Comparative Analysis between the Is and Is Not items (note changes and time)
  • Root Cause theories are developed from remaining possible causes on deductive tool and coupled with changes from Is / Is Not
  • Compare theories with current data and develop experiments for Root Cause Verification
  • Test and confirm the Root Causes

Is Is Not Example

Example: Multiple Why Technique

The Multiple / Repeated Why (Similar to 5 Why) is an inductive tool, which means facts are required to proceed to a more detailed level. The steps required to determine problem statement are:

  • Problem Symptom is defined as an Object and Defect i.e. “Passenger Injury”
  • Why? In every case “SUV’s Roll Over”
  • Why? In every case, it was preceded by a “Blown Tire”
  • Why? Many explanations may be applied, therefore the team cannot continue with another repeated why past “Blown Tire”
  • Therefore, the Problem Statement is “Blown Tire”
  • Why? Low (Air) Pressure, Tire Defect (Degradation of an Interface) and High (Ambient) Temperature
  • Counter measures assigned to low pressure and tire defect

This example uses only 4 of the 5 Whys to determine the root causes without going further into the systemic reasons that supported the failure. The Repeated Why is one way to depict this failure chain. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) could also be used.

3 Legged 5 Why

Learn More About Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

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the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

Published: November 7, 2018 by Ken Feldman

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

It’s easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of different approaches to problem solving. Some of the most common ones are PDCA , DMAIC , A3, 6S , Agile , 5 Whys , fishbone diagrams , and others. In this article, we’ll look at the 8D process for problem-solving and process improvement. We will present the benefits of 8D along with some best practices and an example of how to use it. This will provide you with some practical applications for use in your own organization.

Overview: What is the 8D process? 

The history of 8D is somewhat controversial. While everyone seems to agree that the popularity of the approach can be credited to Ford Motor company, the basis of the process is a little less clear. Senior leadership at Ford saw the need for the Powertrain division to have a methodology where teams could work on recurring problems. 

In 1986, work began to develop a manual and training course that would create a new approach to solving engineering design and manufacturing problems. The title of this manual was Team Oriented Problem Solving (TOPS), and it was first published in 1987. But where did the original idea come from?

Many give credit to the U.S. War Production Board, which developed a simple, four-step approach in 1945 for improving job methods. Here’s what they looked like.

1945 Job Methods improvement document from the U.S. War Production Board

Image source: allaboutlean.com .

In reality, the 8D process is officially known as the Eight Disciplines of Problem-Solving. To make things a little more confusing, it’s really nine steps. While originally developed as 8 steps or disciplines, it was subsequently revised to include a step zero, which was to plan and prepare for solving the problem.

A list of the 8 disciplines in the 8D process

Image source: ASQ.org .

Let’s provide a little more detail for each step.

  • D0 — Plan: Collect information and data on the problem symptoms. Decide what preparations will be needed to complete the 8D process. Decide whether you will need an Emergency Response Plan to minimize or mitigate the immediate impact of your problem on the customer.
  • D1 — Create a team: Put together a cross-functional team consisting of a core group plus a selection of subject matter experts ( SMEs ). Be sure to provide everything the team will need to be successful, including any training needed to properly execute the process.
  • D2 — Define and describe the problem: Using relevant data, describe the problem in as detail as possible. Be sure to focus on your problem at this point, not your solution.
  • D3 — Contain the problem: Protect your customer by creating containment actions to prevent any further negative impact to them.
  • D4 — Identify, describe, and verify root causes: You can use a multitude of tools such as the 5 Whys, fishbone diagrams, brainstorming , and others to identify potential root causes. Use data to validate your root causes.
  • D5 — Choose corrective actions: Select the most appropriate actions to resolve and eliminate the root causes of your problem. 
  • D6 — Implement and validate your corrective actions: Implement your recommended solutions and corrective actions, and continue to monitor to assure yourself that they actually solved your problem.
  • D7 — Take preventative measures: Revise your systems to proactively try to prevent these and similar problems from arising in the future.
  • D8 — Congratulate your team: Communicate the work of the team and celebrate their efforts.

3 benefits of the 8D process 

It goes without saying that removing problems, improving your process, and preventing future problems will provide many benefits to your organization. Here are a few.

1. Simple and effective 

The 8D process has been compared to the PDCA model. Like PDCA, 8D is structured, organized, and simple in concept. 

2. Drives you to the root cause 

By following the sequential steps, this process should lead you to the elimination of your problem and prevent it from arising again. 

3. Team approach 

The use of a cross-functional team composed of a core group of people working in the problem area as well as subject matter experts contributing on an as needed basis will give you the synergy of combined knowledge and experience that should lead you to a solution. 

Why is the 8D process important to understand? 

While simple in concept, there are a number of things you should understand that will make this process both effective and efficient.

Elimination of the root cause

If you understand and follow the 8D steps, you will be able to eliminate — or at least mitigate — the negative impact of your problem.

Discipline 

The 8D steps are sequential and build on each other. If you have the discipline to stay on track, you will optimize the use of the 8D process. 

Problem-solving tools 

8D is a process and methodology. You will need to understand the purpose of each step so you can apply the proper problem-solving tools in each step.  

An industry example of 8D

A consumer product company located in Mexico City was experiencing an increase in its delivery trucks returning without having made product deliveries to its customers. There did not seem to be an obvious reason or solution, so the president of the company chartered a team to look into the problem. He assigned the company’s Lean Six Sigma Master Black Belt to put together and facilitate a team and chose to use the 8D problem-solving methodology.

He followed the process by first having a planning and preparation meeting to lay out the plan for analyzing the problem. He suggested that some of the delivery supervisors go out into the field to see if they can observe any unusual conditions. They also collected some data and recorded their observations.

A vigorous brainstorming session ensued in which the team listed all the possible reasons the problem was occuring. These potential root causes were validated by the data that was collected and the observations of the supervisors. They discovered the trucks were coming back without delivering all of the product because the customers didn’t have enough money to pay for the product. These were very small customers who had to pay cash on delivery.

The question then became: Why didn’t they have enough money? The next root cause was that the trucks were arriving later in the day, after the customer had already paid for most of their other deliveries and thus had no money left. Why were the trucks arriving so late? Because they got stuck in traffic because they left the yard too late. Why were they leaving so late? Because they were loading the trucks and doing the paperwork in the morning.

Eventually, the team arrived at a solution that had the trucks loaded, prepped, and ready to go when the drivers arrived early in the morning. The result was a dramatic reduction in returned goods and a significant increase in cash flow. The president was confident that the use of the 8D process got them to the right solution quickly and efficiently.

3 best practices when thinking about the 8D process

Like most of the other problem-solving approaches, there are some recommended practices that will help you and your team be successful. Here are a few that will help you stay on track. 

1. Pick the best team that you can 

Don’t seek volunteers, but hand-select the best team members that are available. It will be their knowledge and expertise that will make the team successful. Likewise for the team facilitator or leader.

2. Take your time 

Don’t rush to solutions or what you think is the root cause of your problem. Thoroughly explore your problem so that the solutions that you eventually come up with will resolve the problem and prevent future occurrences. Think creatively.

3. Be specific about what your problem is

Use data to help you understand your problem. Don’t just rely on anecdotal stories or assumptions to decide the root cause of your problem.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) about 8D

1. when should i use the 8d process.

Use this process when you’re trying to solve for safety or regulatory issues, increasing customer complaints, warranty costs (which indicate greater-than-expected failure rates), internal rejects, waste, scrap, and poor performance or test results.

2. Can the 8D process be used in non-manufacturing processes?

Yes. While the 8D process was developed in the manufacturing function of Ford Motor Company, it can just as easily be applied in any type of process or function where you are experiencing problems.

3. What is the difference between the 8D and 5D process? 

For a less complex problem, you may decide to use a 5D process. This simplified process will have you form a team, identify your problem, implement containment actions, identify the root cause, and implement corrective actions to eliminate the problem.

So, what is the 8D process? 

The 8D process, also known as the Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving, is a method developed at Ford Motor Company used to resolve problems. It is focused on product and process improvement. 

The purpose of 8D is to identify, correct, and eliminate recurring problems. It establishes a permanent corrective action based on a problem analysis and determination of the root causes. Although it was originally comprised of eight stages, or “disciplines,” it was later revised to nine to include a planning and preparation stage.

About the Author

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Ken Feldman

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8D Problem Solving is a systematic and structured approach used to solve business related problems. It names has been given by the fact there are 8 steps or 8 disciplines that are followed to identify, correct and eliminate recurring problems.

8D Problem Solving is regarded as robust methodology that has proven its worth across multiple industries and manufacturing in particular. The methodology was Initially developed within the automotive industry, it has since been widely adopted in manufacturing, logistics and health care to name a few. The 8D approach goes beyond helping team just identify the root cause of problem but also provides a structured approach for implementing and verifying corrective actions.

Table of Contents

What is 8d problem solving.

The 8D Problem-Solving methodology was developed in the late 1980s  by Ford Motor Company. The term “8D” stands for “Eight Disciplines,” which represent the eight critical steps in problem-solving.

Initially it was only intended to resolve issues within the automotive manufacturing process. However, over the year since then the methodology has gained universal acceptance and is now applied across various sectors. The 8D approach was heavily influenced by quality management systems like Total Quality Management (TQM) and methodologies like Six Sigma and forms a key part of quality roles and Six sigma qualifications.

8D is also encourages collaborative team based approach to addressing issues in the workplace This methodology was purposefully designed to be a cross-functional effort, ensuring to bring together expertise from different departments or disciplines to comprehensively address an issue by looking at it from all point of view. Here are the key components:

Preparation : Before diving into problem-solving, the team gathers all necessary resources and tools.

Team Establishment : A cross-functional team is assembled, each member having a specific role and responsibility.

Problem Description : The issue at hand is clearly defined to ensure everyone has a shared understanding.

Interim Actions : Short-term solutions are implemented to contain the problem and prevent further damage.

Root Cause Analysis : Various tools and methods are used to identify the real cause of the problem.

Permanent Corrective Actions : Long-term solutions are selected and verified to eliminate the root cause.

Implementation : The long-term solutions are implemented across the board, including necessary changes to policies and procedures.

Prevent Recurrence : Measures are taken to ensure that the problem does not occur again.

Team Recognition : The team is congratulated and acknowledged for their efforts.

8D Process Infographic

How does 8D Compare to over Problem-Solving Methods?

Between quality management systems and lean six sigma there are several problem-solving methodologies such as PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act), DMAIC (Define-Measure-Analyze-Improve-Control), and A3 . However the combination of the 8D steps results in a comprehensive frame work that is:

Team-Oriented : Unlike some methodologies that can be carried out by individuals, 8D strongly emphasizes team collaboration as a core principle as seen in steps D1 and D8.

Structured Framework : 8D provides a very detailed, step-by-step guide for solving complex problems, by breaking it down in to logical steps making it easier to manage and track progress.

Broad Applicability : While some methodologies like DMAIC are closely tied to Six Sigma, 8D can be applied in various contexts without being tied to a particular quality management system.

Focus on Prevention : 8D not only aims to solve the problem but also focuses on implementing changes to prevent its recurrence, making it a complete approach to problem solving.

The 8 Disciplines Explained

D0: prepare for the process.

Before you start 8D you should prepare for the 8D process. This phase sets the foundation for the entire methodology, ensuring that the team is able to tackle the problem effectively. Therefore, effective preparation helps in avoiding unnecessary delays and ensures that you’re not solving the wrong problem.

Within the initial preparation step you should also the time to think about what knowledge, expertise and experience you need within the team. Cross-functional teams are important, as they bring alternative perspectives and skills to the table rather than everyone looking at the problem from one point of view. Make sure you consider expertise, availability, and interest when selecting team members.

Team - Learnleansigma

D1: Establish the Team

In D1 you should establish the team by clearly defining the roles and responsibilities for each team member. This includes assigning a team leader, subject matter experts, and roles for data collection , analysis, and communication this helps to provide the team members clarity on how they will be involved and contribute to the success of the problems solving activity.

Team Composition

Once roles are defined, where possible ensure that the team is balanced in terms of skills and expertise. A well-rounded team will be more effective in tackling various aspects of the problem.

Communication

Establish clear methods communication, both within the team and with external stakeholders. Such as deciding on regular meeting schedules that everyone can attend, reporting formats, and tools for collaboration.

D2: Describe the Problem

In D2 it is time to create a well formed problem statement. This step is key as it provides a foundation for understanding the problem which will lead to generally more successful problem-solving. It ensures that everyone clearly understands what needs to be addressed, setting the scope for the entire process. Ensure that the problem is clearly understood by everyone in the team at this stage to prevent confusion later on in the process.

5W1H Method of creating a Problem Definition

Use data gathering techniques such as observations, interviews, and document reviews can help to precisely identify the problem. A useful tool to use at this stage could be the 5W1H Problem definition method.

You can find out more about this method with our 5W1H guide .

Problem Definition - is / is not template

Problem Definition – is / is not template

When creating your problem definition ensure to be specific, measurable, and unambiguous when stating the problem. You should avoid generalities and ensure that the problem statement is understandable to someone unfamiliar with the issue. If you are new to this process it may be helpful to give the statement to someone unfamiliar to the process and see if they understand it or if they have questions. You can then clarify any questions by adjusting the problem description to improve the claity.

D3: Implement and Verify Interim Actions

In D3 while the team is investigating the root cause, interim actions are must be implement to contain the problem and minimize its impact. This is particularly important in critical situations affecting safety, compliance, or customer satisfaction. 

In this step you should identify, plan, and execute short-term fixes that can quickly contain the problem. This could include quarantining the product to ensure it is not sent out to the customer or even pausing production lines that continue to product defects. Ensure these actions are documented for future reference.

Use metrics and KPIs to gauge the effectiveness of the interim actions. Make adjustments as necessary.

D4: Root Cause Analysis

D4 is where you start to understand what is causing the issue by identifying the underlying reason for the problem. The objective is to find the root cause, not just the symptoms.

Identifying a root cause

At this stage there are a range of quality and lean six sigma tools that can be used to conduct root cause analysis , which can include the Fishbone Diagram for structured brainstorming and the 5 Whys technique for causal chain analysis.

We have a range of guides on all of these techniques for you to use.

RCA Example Fishbone analysis

Once identified, it is important validate the root cause through experimentation or additional data analysis to ensure it’s the actual cause and not a symptom, this can often be an overlook critical step in the root cause process.

D5: Choose and Verify Permanent Corrective Actions

In D5 you need to choose what actions to be taken to prevent the problem reoccurring and any solutions implemented should be verified that the actions correct the problem this can involve trial runs, further data collection and inspections of product or services being produced.

You should also consider factors like cost, impact, and feasibility when choosing a permanent corrective action and should also conduct a risk assessment to evaluate potential negative outcomes of the actions taken

An implementation or action plan is often useful to document at this stage to detail the steps for implementation, assign responsibilities, and set timelines.

D6: Implement Permanent Corrective Actions

Once verified, implement the corrective actions across all relevant departments or processes. This can involved documenting the new process and training out to all stakeholders involved to ensure the new process is followed and that the stakeholders understand the reason for the change.

At this point you should continue to regularly monitor the situation to ensure the corrective actions are sustained and effective, this could be for a period of 30, 60 or 90 days after the problem was resolved to ensure the new process has become a sustained and issues do not reoccur. 

D7: Prevent Recurrence

In D7 to prevent recurrent you should review and update organizational policies or standard operating procedures (SOPs) to prevent a recurrence of the problem and document the new standard process

It is important to conduct regular reviews to continuously monitor the process and ensure procedures are being followed but also to identify further opportunities for process improvement.

D8: Congratulate the Team

The final step D8, after the hard work and successful problem resolution, it is important to acknowledging and congratulating the team is vital for morale and future engagement. With the recognition of a successful 8D Problem-solving activity complete you are more likely to encourage future participation as the method gets a reputation as being useful and successful at solving problems. 

Whether it’s a team lunch, certificates of achievement, or simply a public acknowledgment, celebrate the success in a way that resonates with your team.

Finally it is always important to conduct a lessons-learned session and document the insights gained during the process for future reference. This can be used as a future point of reference for problem solving activities.

Mastering the art of problem-solving is crucial in today’s complex and fast-paced environment. The 8D Problem-Solving methodology offers a structured, team-based approach to tackling challenges that can arise in any sector, be it manufacturing, public services, or logistics. This guide has walked you through each of the eight disciplines, offering best practices and highlighting common pitfalls to avoid. We’ve also enriched your understanding through real-world case studies that demonstrate the methodology’s versatility and effectiveness. Remember, the strength of 8D lies not just in identifying and resolving problems, but also in preventing their recurrence through systemic improvements. By adhering to the principles and steps outlined in this guide, you’re well on your way to becoming an adept problem solver, capable of driving continuous improvement in your organization.

  • Zarghami, A. and Benbow, D.W., 2017.  Introduction to 8D problem solving . Quality Press.
  • Camarillo, A., Ríos, J. and Althoff, K.D., 2017. CBR and PLM applied to diagnosis and technical support during problem solving in the Continuous Improvement Process of manufacturing plants .  Procedia Manufacturing ,  13 , pp.987-994.

Q: What is 8D problem solving?

A: 8D problem solving is a systematic approach used to address and resolve complex problems. It is widely utilized in various industries to identify the root causes of issues, develop effective solutions, and prevent their recurrence.

Q: Why is it called "8D" problem solving?

A: The name “8D” refers to the eight disciplines or steps involved in the problem-solving process. Each discipline represents a specific stage in the methodology, allowing for a structured and comprehensive approach to problem resolution.

Q: What are the eight disciplines (8D) in problem solving?

A: The eight disciplines in problem solving, often abbreviated as 8D, are as follows:

  • D1: Form a team
  • D2: Define the problem
  • D3: Implement containment actions
  • D4: Determine the root cause
  • D5: Develop and implement corrective actions
  • D6: Validate the effectiveness of corrective actions
  • D7: Prevent recurrence
  • D8: Congratulate the team

Q: What is the purpose of forming a team in the 8D problem-solving process?

A: Forming a team at the beginning of the 8D problem-solving process helps ensure that the right individuals with the necessary expertise are involved in addressing the problem. The team collaboratively works towards understanding the issue, analyzing data, and developing effective solutions.

Q: How is the root cause determined in the 8D problem-solving process?

A: Determining the root cause (D4) involves conducting a thorough analysis of the problem. Various tools and techniques, such as cause-and-effect diagrams, 5 Whys, and data analysis, are employed to identify the underlying factors contributing to the problem.

Q: Can the 8D problem-solving methodology be applied to any type of problem?

A: Yes, the 8D problem-solving methodology is a versatile approach that can be applied to various types of problems across different industries. It provides a structured framework for problem resolution and can be tailored to suit the specific needs and requirements of different situations.

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft

Daniel Croft is a seasoned continuous improvement manager with a Black Belt in Lean Six Sigma. With over 10 years of real-world application experience across diverse sectors, Daniel has a passion for optimizing processes and fostering a culture of efficiency. He's not just a practitioner but also an avid learner, constantly seeking to expand his knowledge. Outside of his professional life, Daniel has a keen Investing, statistics and knowledge-sharing, which led him to create the website learnleansigma.com, a platform dedicated to Lean Six Sigma and process improvement insights.

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What is 8D? A template for efficient problem-solving

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How you respond when problems arise is one of the most defining qualities of a manager. Luckily, there are tools you can use to master problem-solving. The 8D method of problem-solving combines teamwork and basic statistics to help you reach a logical solution and prevent new issues from arising.

You’ve spent months overseeing the development of your company's newest project. From initiation, planning, and execution, you’re confident this may be your best work yet.

Until the feedback starts rolling in.

There’s no sugar-coating it—things don’t always go as planned. But production or process issues are hardly a signal to throw in the towel. Instead, focus on honing your problem-solving skills to find a solution that keeps it from happening again. 

The 8D method of problem solving emphasizes the importance of teamwork to not only solve your process woes but prevent new ones from occurring. In this guide, we’ll break down what 8D is, how to use this methodology, and the benefits it can give to you and your team. Plus, get an 8D template to make solving your issue easier. 

What is 8D?

The eight disciplines (8D) method is a problem-solving approach that identifies, corrects, and eliminates recurring problems. By determining the root causes of a problem, managers can use this method to establish a permanent corrective action and prevent recurring issues. 

How do you use the 8D method?

The 8D method is a proven strategy for avoiding long-term damage from recurring problems. If you’re noticing issues in your workflow or processes, then it’s a good time to give this problem-solving method a try. 

To complete an 8D analysis, follow “the eight disciplines” to construct a statistical analysis of the problem and determine the best solution.

The eight disciplines of problem-solving

8D stands for the eight disciplines you will use to establish an 8D report. As you may notice, this outline starts with zero, which makes nine total disciplines. The “zero stage” was developed later as an initial planning stage. 

To illustrate these steps, imagine your organization experienced a decline in team innovation and productivity this past year. Your stakeholders have noticed and want to see changes implemented within the next six months. Below, we’ll use the 8D process to uncover a morale-boosting solution.

[inline illustration] D8 problem solving approach (infographic)

D0: Prepare and plan

Before starting the problem-solving process, evaluate the problem you want to solve. Understanding the background of the problem will help you identify the root cause in later steps. 

Collect information about how the problem has affected a process or product and what the most severe consequences may be. Planning can include:

Gathering data

Determining the prerequisites for solving the problem

Collecting feedback from others involved

[inline illustration] D0 Planning (example)

If we look back at our example, you may want to figure out whether this decline in morale is organization-wide or only applies to a few departments. Consider interviewing a few employees from different departments and levels of management to gain some perspective. Next, determine what knowledge and skills you will need to solve this lapse in productivity. 

D1: Form your team

Create a cross-functional team made up of people who have knowledge of the various products and workflows involved. These team members should have the skills needed to solve the problem and put corrective actions in place. 

Steps in this discipline may include:

Appointing a team leader

Developing and implementing team guidelines

Determining team goals and priorities

Assigning individual roles

Arranging team-building activities

[inline illustration] D1 Team members (example)

From our example, a solid team would consist of people with first-hand experience with the issues—like representatives from all departments and key people close to workshop-level work. You may also want to pull someone in from your HR department to help design and implement a solution. Most importantly, make sure the people you choose want to be involved and contribute to the solution.

D2: Identify the problem

You may have a good understanding of your problem by now, but this phase aims to break it down into clear and quantifiable terms by identifying the five W’s a and two H’s (5W2H):

Who first reported the problem?

What is the problem about?

When did it occur and how often?

Where did it occur (relating to the sector, supplier, machine, or production line involved)?

Why is solving the problem important?

How was the problem first detected?

How many parts/units/customers are affected?

[inline illustration] D2 Problem statement & description (example)

Use your team’s insights to answer these questions. From our example, your team may conclude that: 

Employees feel overwhelmed with their current workload. 

There is no real structure or opportunity to share new ideas.

Managers have had no training for meetings or innovation settings.

Disgruntled employees know they can achieve more—and want to achieve more—even if they seem disengaged.

Once you answer these questions, record an official problem statement to describe the issue. If possible, include photos, videos, and diagrams to ensure all parties have a clear understanding of the problem. It may also help to create a flowchart of the process that includes various steps related to the problem description.

D3: Develop an interim containment plan

Much like we can expect speedy first aid after an accident, your team should take immediate actions to ensure you contain the problem—especially if the problem is related to customer safety. 

An interim containment plan will provide a temporary solution to isolate the problem from customers and clients while your team works to develop a permanent corrective action. This band-aid will help keep your customers informed and safe—and your reputation intact.

[inline illustration] D3 Interim containment action (example)

Because your findings revealed workers were overworked and managers lacked training, your team suggests scheduling a few mandatory training sessions for leaders of each department covering time and stress management and combating burnout . You may also want to have a presentation outlining the topics of this training to get key managers and stakeholders interested and primed for positive upcoming changes. 

D4: Verify root causes and escape points

Refer back to your findings and consult with your team about how the problem may have occurred. The root cause analysis involves mapping each potential root cause against the problem statement and its related test data. Make sure to test all potential causes—fuzzy brainstorming and sloppy analyses may cause you to overlook vital information. 

[inline illustration] D4 Root cause & escape points (example)

In our example, focus on the “why” portion of the 5W2H. You and your team identify six root causes:

Managers have never had any training

There is a lack of trust and psychological safety

Employees don’t understand the objectives and goals

Communication is poor

Time management is poor

Employees lack confidence

In addition to identifying the root causes, try to pinpoint where you first detected the problem in the process, and why it went unnoticed. This is called the escape point, and there may be more than one. 

D5: Choose permanent corrective actions

Work with your team to determine the most likely solution to remove the root cause of the problem and address the issues with the escape points. Quantitatively confirm that the selected permanent corrective action(s) (PCA) will resolve the problem for the customer. 

Steps to choosing a PCA may include:

Determining if you require further expertise

Ensuring the 5W2Hs are defined correctly

Carrying out a decision analysis and risk assessment

Considering alternative measures

Collecting evidence to prove the PCA will be effective

[inline illustration] D5 Permanent corrective action (example)

Your team decides to roll out the training used in the interim plan to all employees, with monthly company-wide workshops on improving well-being. You also plan to implement meetings, innovation sessions, and team-coaching training for managers. Lastly, you suggest adopting software to improve communication and collaboration. 

D6: Implement your corrective actions

Once all parties have agreed on a solution, the next step is to create an action plan to remove the root causes and escape points. Once the solution is in effect, you can remove your interim containment actions.

After seeing success with the training in the interim phase, your stakeholders approve all of your team’s proposed PCAs. Your representative from HR also plans to implement periodic employee wellness checks to track employee morale .

[inline illustration] D6 PCA implementation plan (example)

To ensure your corrective action was a success, monitor the results, customer, or employee feedback over a long period of time and take note of any negative effects. Setting up “controls” like employee wellness checks will help you validate whether your solution is working or more needs to be done. 

D7: Take preventive measures

One of the main benefits of using the 8D method is the improved ability to identify necessary systematic changes to prevent future issues from occurring. Look for ways to improve your management systems, operating methods, and procedures to not only eliminate your current problem, but stop similar problems from developing later on.

[inline illustration] D7 Preventive measure (example)

Based on our example, the training your team suggested is now adopted in the new manager onboarding curriculum. Every manager now has a “meeting system” that all meetings must be guided by, and workloads and projects are managed as a team within your new collaboration software . Innovation is improving, and morale is at an all-time high!

D8: Celebrate with your team

The 8D method of problem-solving is impossible to accomplish without dedicated team members and first-class collaboration. Once notes, lessons, research, and test data are documented and saved, congratulate your teammates on a job well done! Make an effort to recognize each individual for their contribution to uncovering a successful solution.

[inline illustration] 8D Team congratulations & reward (example)

8D report template and example

Check out our 8D report template below to help you record your findings as you navigate through the eight disciplines of problem solving. This is a formal report that can be used as a means of communication within companies, which makes for transparent problem-solving that you can apply to the entire production or process chain.

Benefits of using the 8D method

The 8D method is one of the most popular problem-solving strategies for good reason. Its strength lies in teamwork and fact-based analyses to create a culture of continuous improvement —making it one of the most effective tools for quality managers. The benefits of using the 8D method include: 

Improved team-oriented problem-solving skills rather than relying on an individual to provide a solution

Increased familiarity with a problem-solving structure

A better understanding of how to use basic statistical tools for problem-solving

Open and honest communication in problem-solving discussions

Prevent future problems from occurring by identifying system weaknesses and solutions

Improved effectiveness and efficiency at problem-solving

Better collaboration = better problem solving

No matter how good a manager you are, production and process issues are inevitable. It’s how you solve them that separates the good from the great. The 8D method of problem solving allows you to not only solve the problem at hand but improve team collaboration, improve processes, and prevent future issues from arising. 

Try Asana’s project management tool to break communication barriers and keep your team on track.

8D Chess: How to Use The 8 Disciplines for Problem Solving

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Hospitals have developed something of a reputation for being rife with bad processes . When processes aren’t adequate, the result is an abundance of “workarounds”.

For example, when equipment or supplies are missing, a nurse might waste time running around searching for what is needed, and once the item is found, return to their previous duties.

One study indicates that nurses spend 33 minutes of a 7.5-hour shift completing workarounds that are not part of their job description.

This may well “put out the fire” so-to-speak, but really it is just a hastily applied band-aid that does nothing to treat the root cause of the problem.

More time is wasted and more problems will arise in the future because nothing has been done to prevent the initial problem from happening again.

Individual nurses are not at fault here; workplace culture often values expertise in the form of those who “get the job done”, which tends to pull against the notion of spending time building good processes (time in which the job is perhaps not “getting done”).

So how to approach the problem of problem solving ?

In a lean context, problem solving can be distilled into two simple questions:

  • What is the problem and how did it happen?
  • How can we make sure that it doesn’t happen again?

The 8D, or eight disciplines methodology, is a problem solving process – most likely one of the most widely used problem solving processes out there. It is used by many different countries, in many different industries, and many different organizations.

8D is designed to help you put out those fires, and make sure they don’t happen again.

In this article, I’ll introduce you to the 8D problem solving methodology and provide you with an outline of the basic process that you can hopefully apply in your own business, plus how you can enhance 8D with other tools and methodologies like Six Sigma , FMEA , and Process Street .

Here’s what I hope you’ll take away after reading:

  • An understanding of the basics of 8D
  • Advantages of using 8D
  • The purpose and objectives of each phase of the 8D process
  • An understanding of how to use 8D for problem solving
  • How 8D works with other problem solving tools
  • How you can use Process Street to maximize the potential of the 8D framework

Let’s begin with the origins of 8D – what is it, and where did it come from?

What is 8D?

8D (sometimes Global 8D or G8D) stands for eight disciplines, and is a problem solving methodology. It’s basically a process for understanding and preventing problems.

Much like how risk management seeks to take a proactive, preventative stance, 8D aims to gain insight into the root causes of why the problems happen, so they won’t happen again.

The 8D process involves eight (sometimes nine) steps to solve difficult, recurring problems. It’s a transparent, team-based approach that will help you solve more problems in your business.

8D origins: Where did it come from?

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

Despite the popular story that 8D originated at Ford, it was in fact developed in 1974 by the US Department of Defence, ultimately taking the form of the military standard 1520 Corrective Action and Disposition System for Nonconforming Material .

Ford took this military standard, which was essentially a process for quality management , and expanded on it to include more robust problem solving methods.

In 1987, Ford Motor Company published their manual, Team Oriented Problem Solving (TOPS) , which included their first iteration of the 8D methodology.

Initially termed Global 8D (or G8D) standard, it is currently used by Ford and many other companies in the automotive supply chain.

8D, PDSA, & other problem solving processes

problem solving processes

The disciplines of 8D follow the same logic as the Deming Cycle (also known as PDSA, and sometimes PDCA).

PDSA stands for Plan, Do, Study, Act (or Check, in the case of PDCA).

The similarity lies in the fact that both PDSA and 8D are designed to be used to improve processes. They’re both examples of cycles of continuous improvement.

Whereas 8D may be painted as a more generic problem-solving framework, structurally speaking both 8D and PDSA share a lot in common.

The simple idea of beginning with a clear objective, or desired output, and then testing, analyzing , and iteratively tweaking in a continuous cycle is the basis for both methodologies.

There are, of course, differences. We’ll cover the different applications of both 8D and PDSA in this article.

8D advantages

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

One of the main strengths of 8D is its focus on teamwork. 8D philosophy encourages the idea that teams, as a whole, are more powerful than the sum of the individual qualities of each team member.

It’s also an empirical methodology; that is to say that it is a fact-based problem solving process.

A branch of continuous improvement, proper use of 8D will help you coordinate your entire team for effective problem solving and improved implementation of just about all of the processes used in your business.

The 8 disciplines for problem solving

As you may have noticed, we’re starting with zero, which makes nine total disciplines. This “zero” stage was developed as an initial planning step.

D0: Plan adequately

Make comprehensive plans for solving the problem including any prerequisites you might determine.

Be sure to include emergency response actions.

D1: Establish your team

Establish your core team with relevant product or process knowledge. This team will provide you with the perspective and ideas needed for the problem solving process.

The team should consist of about five people, from various cross-functional departments. All individuals should have relevant process knowledge.

A varied group will offer you a variety of different perspectives from which to observe the problem.

It is advisable to establish team structure, roles, and objectives as far ahead in advance as possible so that corrective action can begin as quickly and effectively as possible.

D2: Describe the problem

Have your team gather information and data related to the problem or symptom. Using clear, quantifiable terms, unpack the problem by asking:

D3: Contain the problem (temporary damage control)

Depending on the circumstances, you may need to mobilize some kind of temporary fix, or “firefighting”.

The focus of this stage should be on preventing the problem from getting worse, until a more permanent solution can be identified and implemented.

D4: Identify, describe, and verify root causes

In preparation for permanent corrective action, you must identify, describe, and verify all possible causes that could contribute to the problem happening.

You can use various techniques for this, including a Failure Modes and Effects Analysis , or Ishikawa (fishbone) diagram .

It’s important that the root causes are systematically identified, described in detail, and promptly verified (or proved). How each cause is verified will depend on the data type and the nature of the problem.

Take a look at the section towards the end of this article for some more problem solving tools to help you decide the right approach.

D5: Identify corrective actions

You must verify that the corrective action you identified will in fact solve the problem and prevent it from happening again in the future (or whatever is your desired threshold of recurrence).

The best way to do this is to collect as much data as possible and by performing smaller-scale “pilot” tests to get an idea of the corrective action’s impact.

You can’t begin to identify the optimal corrective action until you have identified the root cause(s) of the problem.

D6: Implement and validate corrective actions

Carry out the corrective actions, and monitor short and long term effects. During this stage, you should assess and validate the corrective actions with empirical evidence.

Discuss and review results with your team.

D7: Take preventative measures (to avoid the problem happening again)

Here is where you make any necessary changes to your processes, standard operating procedures , policies , and anything else to make sure the problem does not happen again.

It may not be possible to completely eliminate any chance of the problem recurring; in that case, efforts should focus on minimizing possibility of recurrence as much as possible.

D8: Congratulate your team

It’s important to recognize the joint contribution of each and every one of the individuals that were involved in the process.

Team members should feel valued and rewarded for their efforts; this is crucial and perhaps the most important step – after all, without the team, the problem would not have been fixed.

Providing positive feedback and expressing appreciation helps to keep motivation high, which in turn improves the sense of process ownership and simply increases the likelihood your team will actually want to improve internal processes in the future.

How to use 8D for problem solving

The 8D method above outlines a proven strategy for identifying and dealing with problems. It’s an effective problem solving and problem prevention process.

In addition to avoiding long-term damage from recurring problems, 8D also helps to mitigate customer impact as much as possible.

More than just a problem-solving methodology, 8D sits alongside Six Sigma and other lean frameworks and can easily be integrated with them to minimize training and maximize efficacy.

8D is definitely a powerful framework on its own, but it really shines when combined with other synergistic concepts of lean and continuous improvement.

More problem solving tools that synergize well with 8D

8D has become a leading framework for process improvement, and in many ways it is more prescriptive and robust than other more simplistic Six Sigma approaches.

However, there are many Six Sigma methodologies, and even more frameworks for problem solving and process improvement .

The following improvement tools are often used within or alongside the 8D methodology.

DMAIC: Lean Six Sigma

dmaic process

DMAIC stands for:

The DMAIC process is a data-driven cycle of process improvement designed for businesses to help identify flaws or inefficiencies in processes.

Simply put, the goal with DMAIC is to improve and optimize existing processes.

Interestingly, the development of the DMAIC framework is credited to Motorola , whose work built upon the systems initially developed by Toyota .

In terms of working alongside 8D, you could use DMAIC to identify root causes as in D4; you could also implement the same techniques to better understand prospects for corrective actions as in D5, and D6.

We have a whole article on the DMAIC process, if you’re interested.

SWOT analysis

swot analysis

Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, and Threats. You can use a SWOT analysis to gain insight into your organization as a whole, or on individual processes.

The main synergy with 8D is in the identification of opportunities, threats, and weaknesses.

These can represent opportunities for process improvements, weaknesses in your process that could produce problems further down the line, and threats, both internal and external, that may be out of your direct control but that could cause problems for you.

Here’s a SWOT analysis checklist you can use to structure your own analysis:

FMEA: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

fmea process

FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis) is a way of understanding the potential for problems and making preemptive preparations in order to avoid them. It is a method of risk management .

It is a type of preventative risk management process, and so works well in the context of identifying causes of problems so you can better deal with them.

FMEA and 8D work well together because:

  • 8D can make use of information gathered during an FMEA process, like brainstorming sessions, to identify potential problems and their root causes.
  • You can reuse possible cause information gathered during an FMEA process to feed into different representational diagrams like the Ishikawa (fishbone) diagram, which will help in the 8D process.
  • 8D brainstorming data is useful for new process design. This allows the FMEA to take actual process failures into account, which produces more effective results.
  • FMEA completed in the past can be used as databases of potential root causes of problems to inform 8D process development.

Here’s a free FMEA template for you to get started ASAP:

The Pareto Chart

The Pareto Chart helps us understand the impact of different variations of input on our output.

In relation to 8D, Pareto Charts can help us prioritize which root cause to target, based on which will have the greatest impact on improvement (where improvement is the desired output of the 8D process).

Here’s the Six Sigma Institute’s example Pareto Chart :

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

Here we have a simple deductive reasoning technique that asks “why?” five times to dig into the root cause of a problem.

The logic here is that by asking the same question five times, you work progressively “deeper” into the complexity of the problem from a single point of focus.

Ideally, by the fifth question you should have something that has a high likelihood of being a root cause.

This example from Wikipedia does a great job of conveying how the process works:

  • The vehicle will not start. (the problem)
  • Why? – The battery is dead. (First why)
  • Why? – The alternator is not functioning. (Second why)
  • Why? – The alternator belt has broken. (Third why)
  • Why? – The alternator belt was well beyond its useful service life and not replaced. (Fourth why)
  • Why? – The vehicle was not maintained according to the recommended service schedule. (Fifth why, a root cause)

Ishikawa diagrams (fishbone diagrams)

Sometimes called “cause-and-effect diagrams”, they are as such used to visualize the cause and effect of problems.

The approach takes six different categories and places information about the problem into different categories to help you understand what factors could be contributing to the problem.

One advantage over the 5 Whys approach is the way this method forces a more holistic perspective, as opposed to the potentially narrow vantage point offered by zooming in on a single aspect or question.

According to the Six Sigma Institute, the 6 key variables pertaining to root causes of problems are:

  • Machine: Root causes related to tools used to execute the process.
  • Material: Root causes related to information and forms needed to execute the process.
  • Nature: Root causes related to our work environment, market conditions, and regulatory issues.
  • Measure: Root causes related to the process measurement.
  • Method: Root causes related to procedures, hand-offs, input-output issues.
  • People: Root causes related people and organizations.

There’s also this useful illustration of a company using a fishbone diagram to better understand what factors contribute to a company’s high turn around time.

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

Gap analysis

gap analysis graph

A gap analysis is concerned with three key elements:

  • The current situation, or “performance”
  • The ideal situation, or “potential”
  • What needs to be done in order to get from performance to potential, or “bridging the gap”

The “gap” is what separates your current situation from your ideal situation.

Businesses that perform a gap analysis can improve their efficiency and better understand how to improve processes and products.

They can help to better optimize how time, money, and human resources are spent in business.

There’s a lot that goes into a gap analysis, and quite a few different ways to approach it. Check out our article for a deeper dive into the gap analysis process.

Superpowered checklists

Checklists can be a great way to simplify a complex process into a series of smaller, easy-to-manage tasks. They’re one of the best ways to start using processes in your business.

By using checklists, you can reduce the amount of error in your workflow , while saving time and money by eliminating confusion and uncertainty.

What’s more, if you’re using Process Street, you have access to advanced features like conditional logic , rich form fields and streamlined template editing .

How to use Process Street for 8D problem solving

Good problem solving relies on good process. If you’re trying to solve problems effectively, the last thing you want is your tools getting in your way.

What you want is a seamless experience from start to finish of the 8D methodology.

The best kinds of processes are actionable. That’s why you should consider using a BPM software like Process Street to streamline recurring tasks and eliminate manual work with automation .

Process Street’s mission statement is to make recurring work fun, fast, and faultless. By breaking down a process into bite-sized tasks , you can get more done and stay on top of your workload.

Sign up today for a free Process Street trial!

Problem solving is an invaluable skill. What’s your go-to process for problem solving? We’d love to know how it compares with the 8D method. Let us know in the comments!

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Oliver Peterson is a content writer for Process Street with an interest in systems and processes, attempting to use them as tools for taking apart problems and gaining insight into building robust, lasting solutions.

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Home > Quality Management > The 8D Problem-Solving Method: What is it And How To Use It

The 8D Problem-Solving Method: What is it And How To Use It

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Table of Contents

The 8D ( 8D Problem-Solving Method ) method, also known as 8 disciplines, first appeared in Ford’s 1987 “Team-Oriented Problem Solving” manual. It is a tool that has stood the test of time and has become the first solution used by the company known today as Global 8D. Although the 8D method has been around for years, many companies still face the problem of low resolution and poor use of fixes.

Eight Laws of Problem-Solving ( 8D Problem-Solving Method ) are an efficient, effective, and proven way to identify the root cause of a problem, plan a quick solution, and prevent a solution, treatment, and recurrence of the problem. If your product is faulty or does not meet customer expectations, the 8D is a great first step toward improving quality and reliability. The 8D has become very popular with manufacturers, installers, and workshops worldwide due to its efficiency and ease.

8D Problem-Solving Method

Organizations can benefit from improving their production processes and preventing problems that can hinder productivity. This approach provides businesses with the necessary and practical tools to increase efficiency and take action when necessary.

The 8D Problem-Solving Method is the process of teaching and improving quality and eliminating problems. Here we will show you a step-by-step troubleshooting tool to help you identify the problem and identify issues and errors. It also helps identify root causes and take steps to resolve and prevent problems identified in the process. So, let us look at the steps:

1. D0: Planning and Preparation-

Planning and proper planning is a good start before taking action. The process begins with devising a plan and analyzing the problems the organization wants to solve. In this step, company leaders combine information from different sources and generate ideas. In general, at this stage, they identify the problem that needs urgent attention, the main resources that can be used to solve the problem, and the parties involved in the resolution process. The planning phase forms the basis for the next step.

Therefore, before building a team, you should consider:

  • Problem description
  • The time frame for resolution
  • Resources needed to complete the job.

2. D1: Formation of a Team-

This process is based on the creation of groups that will be part of the problem-solving process. During teamwork, the team leader will usually select someone with experience on the job and identify areas to consider in hiring professionals with skills in these areas. The group may also choose a leader to lead its efforts in the problem-solving process.

Building teams to do the 8D Problem-Solving Method is a weak spot for many organizations. Collaborating with people from relevant organizations is important because you cannot solve the problem without first-hand knowledge. If a part problem, the engineer responsible for the design should be in the team. If a production problem, it should be walked around by the staff from the special work area. Do not make the mistake of thinking that the 8D is a job only a competent person can do at their desk.

3. D2: Describing Problem-

The main purpose of the 8D approach is to accurately and objectively describe the problem so that all important information is captured. This step involves writing down detailed information and information to describe the problem, and this is another area where people run into a lot of trouble. Problem definition may mean walking the field to observe the problem on the production floor, reviewing quality data, and/or confirming/not validating the problem.

Organizations can further identify and solve the problem by identifying the problem. During this time, the team reviews issues that need fixing, and management maintains good communication with everyone on the team. Describe the situation in meaningful terms to help identify the potential and type of problem. Often, at this stage, the team writes problem statements, gathers information, and creates diagrams and charts to add to the project.

4. D3: Problem Containment Planning-

Sometimes it is necessary to develop a temporary problem management plan to reduce the impact of the problem until a permanent solution is found. New methods are needed to fix the problem until a permanent solution is found. Problem-solving is a process that takes time and goes through many stages. It is important to have a contingency plan when dealing with serious and persistent problems. Issue management can help reduce the immediate impact of an incident on a product or customer. Temporary protection plans often use quick, easy, and inexpensive measures that the team can reverse at a later stage if needed. With advice, it is important to analyze the results and monitor the situation carefully to prevent further damage.

Temporary protection minimizes the impact of the problem during a permanent solution, which is especially important when product quality or safety is at risk. Many automakers make the mistake of stopping at this point and causing confusion and correction. Sorting materials or clearing clutter only fixes the symptoms, not the cause. The result: repeated problems, higher costs, and loss of business.

5. D4: The Root Cause Analysis (RCA)-

There are many tools available to identify the true root cause of a problem. With the issue temporarily resolved, you can now begin to identify the cause of the inconsistency.

Once the interim plan is in effect, the next step will be an in-depth analysis of the root of the problem. The team examines each potential resource through in-depth analysis and testing. They bring in all relevant test data and discuss the unidentifiable details of the method. This issue is common and can help organizations better identify problems and prevent their recurrence in the future. Organizations often use marketing and visualization tools such as Five WHYs, the Fishbone diagram to visualize the cause, and the Pareto charts to identify root cause analysis.

6. D5: Analyzing Permanent Corrective Action-

Once the team has identified the source of the problem, we can decide what the best solution is. Networking with tools such as social mapping can help plan ideas and identify best practices through relationships.

After determining the best solution, the team evaluates corrective action against the root cause of the problem and escape points. With this information, they can compare corrections and write their results. At this stage, they can also make a risk assessment of each solution they create and choose the most appropriate one. Brainstorming combined with tools such as affinity diagrams helps organize ideas based on relationships and determine the best course of action.

7. D6: Implementing & Validating Permanent Corrective Action-

Management should be involved in verifying correct operation and this means that they must be present in the workshop to measure performance and in regular reviews of key performance indicators (KPIs). Leadership should be exemplified by examining the process from the paying customer’s perspective. It is worth noting that the 6 steps of the 8D Problem-Solving Method are when you are finally ready to use the correction, demonstrating the critical role of planning in this process.

Once a solution is identified, management should implement corrective actions using the PDCA (Plan Do Check Act) process with small tests before expansion. So, keep track of the results and tweak the fix to get the desired results. To achieve and implement a permanent change, the strategic plan should include:

  • Creating an action plan
  • Communicating the plan to all stakeholders
  • Recognizing improvement using metrics

8. D7: Preventing Recurrence-

Once the best solutions have been identified and tested, it is important to pursue permanent corrective action to eliminate roots and escapes. Generally, the organization pulls back the management plan from time to time, creates an action plan for the right action, and then communicates it to all stakeholders. To implement the plan, organizations monitor instant results and results over time. It also monitors the effectiveness of permanent fixes.

The organization should decide to take steps such as updating the process of checking questions and performing regular preventive maintenance on them, ensuring defect-free products for high-risk processes, and rejecting to avoid risking other processes.

9. D8: Recognizing Team Contributions-

When the problem is solved, the last step is to congratulate the team. Because teams need feedback to achieve great results, it is important to recognize their efforts and share their success across the organization. This increases motivation and employee engagement while helping you develop quality control, implement process improvements, and manage change as you grow.

At the final stage of the process, the team reviews their work and discusses the project and its achievements. Effective communication and comparison before and after the 8D Problem-Solving Method process helps the team. Awareness of personal effort and feedback is important during this period as it can increase job satisfaction.

About Henry Harvin 8D Analysis Course:

Henry Harvin’s 8D Problem-Solving Method Analysis course is designed to identify the root cause of a problem, develop a short-term solution strategy, and implement long-term solutions to prevent the recurrence of the problem and 8D gives you an understanding of Root Cause Analysis. It’s not just about solving problems. However, it can help prepare your engineering team for the future.

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  • Learn and find clear information on 8D analysis courses.
  • Learning various 8D Problem-Solving Method analysis principles.
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Benefits of the 8D Problem-Solving Method include a better way to find the root cause, establish the necessary measures to eliminate the root cause, and apply the right treatment. The 8D method also helps find the control that is causing the problem to escape. The purpose of learning escape points is to improve management’s ability to identify failures or their causes (when and when they occur again). Finally, the prevention cycle examines the sequence of events that allowed the failure and the process that caused it to exist.

The 8D Problem-Solving Method approach is universally applicable to any organization that needs a solution. However, there are some industries and businesses that have been successful using this 8D method, such as manufacturing, the automotive industry, engineering companies that produce products, and large and medium-sized businesses.

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Youtube URL: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-9MUBLT0DjI

To complete the 8D process, the following are important:   i. Good team.   ii. A correct description of the problem.   iii. Not skipping the 8D Problem-Solving Method steps.   iv. Cooperation within the team and management support.

Some errors continued to occur as the team tried to locate the source of the problem and implement the correct solution. To prevent these defective products from reaching consumers, interim containment ensures that the defect remains in place until the problem is completely resolved. If the customer reaches the wrong location, it can lead to liability, failure, and customer dissatisfaction.

The 8D Problem-Solving Method report is a document used to document the 8D process, detailing the implementation of solutions and evaluating the effectiveness of solutions.  

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Mastering 8d problem solving: a comprehensive guide for businesses.

Table of contents

  • What is 8D Problem Solving?
  • The 8 Disciples of Problem Solving
  • Implementing 8D Problem Solving Methodology

Example of Successful 8D Problem Solving

  • Common Challenges and Best Practices

Measuring the Effectiveness of 8D Problem-Solving Efforts

The Eight Disciples (8D) of Problem Solving

Problem solving is a vital skill for any business that wants to survive and thrive in today’s competitive and dynamic environment. However, not all problems are created equal. Some are simple and straightforward, while others are complex and multifaceted. How can businesses effectively tackle these challenging problems and prevent them from recurring?

One of the most powerful and proven problem-solving methodologies is 8D problem solving. 8D stands for eight disciplines, which are a series of steps that guide teams through the process of identifying, analyzing, resolving, and preventing problems. 8D problem solving can help businesses improve their quality, reduce their costs, and enhance their customer satisfaction.

What is 8D Problem Solving

8D problem solving is a structured and systematic approach to solving complex problems that require cross-functional collaboration and root cause analysis. It was developed by Ford Motor Company in the late 1980s as a way to address customer complaints and improve product quality. Since then, it has been widely adopted by many organizations across various sectors.

The core principles and objectives of 8D problem solving are:

  • Focus on the customer’s needs and expectations
  • Involve a multidisciplinary team with relevant expertise and authority
  • Use data and facts to support decision making
  • Identify and eliminate the root causes of the problem
  • Implement corrective actions that prevent reoccurrence
  • Document and communicate the problem-solving process and results

The 8D methodology differs from other problem-solving approaches in several ways. First, it emphasizes team-oriented problem-solving. Second, it follows a sequential and logical order of steps that ensures thoroughness and consistency. Third, it uses various tools and techniques to facilitate analysis and action. Fourth, it incorporates feedback loops and verification methods to ensure effectiveness and sustainability.

The Eight Disciples of Problem Solving

D1: establish the team.

The first step in the 8D approach is to form a team that will work on the problem. The team should consist of members who have knowledge, experience, or involvement in the problem area. The team should also have a leader who will coordinate the activities and communicate with stakeholders.

The purpose of establishing the team is to:

  • Define the roles and responsibilities of each team member
  • Establish the scope and boundaries of the problem
  • Set the goals and expectations for the problem-solving process
  • Allocate the resources and time required for the process

D2: Describe the Problem

The second step in this problem-solving method is to define and describe the problem in detail. The team should use data and facts to describe the problem as accurately as possible. The team should also use tools such as the 5W2H method (who, what, where, when, why, how, how much), Six Sigma, or an IS/IS NOT matrix to clarify the aspects of the problem.

Defining and describing the problem allows businesses to:

  • Establish a common understanding of the problem among the team members
  • Identify the symptoms, effects, and impacts of the problem
  • Quantify the magnitude and frequency of the problem
  • Specify the criteria for evaluating potential solutions

D3: Develop Interim Containment Actions

The third step in 8D problem solving is to develop interim containment actions that will prevent or minimize the negative consequences of the problem until a permanent solution is found. The team should identify and implement actions that will isolate, control, or eliminate the causes or sources of variation that contribute to the problem.

When you develop interim containment actions, you:

  • Protect the customer from defective products or services
  • Reduce the risk of further damage or harm
  • Maintain operational continuity and stability
  • Buy time for root cause analysis and corrective actions

D4: Determine Root Causes

The fourth step in the 8D method is to determine the root causes responsible for creating or allowing the problem to occur. The team should use data analysis tools such as Pareto charts, histograms, scatter plots, or fishbone diagrams to identify possible causes. The team should also use root cause analysis techniques such as 5 Whys, fault tree analysis, or Failure Modes and Effect Analysis (FMEA) to verify or validate the causes.

The purpose of determining root causes is to:

  • Understand why the problem happened
  • Identify all possible factors that influence or contribute to the problem
  • Eliminate superficial or symptomatic causes
  • Prevent jumping to conclusions or making assumptions

D5: Choose Permanent Corrective Actions

The fifth step in 8D problem solving is to choose permanent corrective actions that will address or remove root causes permanently. The team should generate multiple possible solutions using brainstorming techniques such as SCAMPER (substitute, combine, adapt, modify, put to another use, eliminate, reverse) or TRIZ (theory of inventive problem solving). The team should also evaluate each solution using criteria such as feasibility, effectiveness, cost, risk, or impact.

Choosing permanent corrective actions helps to:

  • Select the best solution that meets customer needs and expectations
  • Ensure that root causes are eliminated or prevented from recurring
  • Consider trade-offs between different solutions
  • Plan for implementation challenges or barriers

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

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D6: implement permanent corrective actions.

The sixth step in 8D problem solving is to implement permanent corrective actions that were chosen in D5. The team should develop an action plan that specifies who will do what by when using tools such as Gantt charts or PDCA cycles (plan-do-check-act). The team should also execute the action plan according to schedule using tools such as checklists or standard operating procedures.

The purpose of implementing permanent corrective actions is to:

  • Put the chosen solution into practice
  • Monitor progress and performance during implementation
  • Resolve any issues or problems that arise during the implementation
  • Document changes or modifications made during implementation

D7: Prevent Recurrence

The seventh step in 8D problem solving is to prevent recurrence by ensuring that permanent corrective actions are effective and sustainable. The team should verify that root causes have been eliminated using tools such as control charts or statistical process control (SPC). The team should also validate that customer requirements have been met using tools such as surveys or audits.

Preventing reoccurrence helps to:

  • Confirm that permanent corrective actions have solved the problem
  • Evaluate customer satisfaction with products or services after implementation
  • Identify opportunities for further improvement or optimization
  • Standardize best practices or lessons learned from implementation

D8: Recognize Team Efforts

The eighth step in 8D problem solving is recognizing team efforts by acknowledging their contributions and achievements throughout the process. The team should celebrate their success by sharing their results with stakeholders using tools such as reports or presentations. The team should also appreciate their efforts by rewarding them with recognition or incentives.

The purpose of recognizing team efforts is to:

  • Motivate team members for future challenges
  • Build trust and rapport among team members
  • Enhance team morale and cohesion
  • Promote a culture of continuous improvement

Implementing 8D Problem-Solving Methodology

Implementing an 8D problem-solving methodology can be challenging for many businesses due to various factors such as organizational culture, resources, or complexity. However, with proper planning, preparation, and execution, it can be done successfully.

Here is some practical guidance on how businesses can effectively implement the 8D process:

Define clear roles & responsibilities for each discipline

One of the key factors for successful implementation is having clear roles & responsibilities for each discipline within the 8D process. Each discipline requires specific skills, knowledge, or authority that may not be available within a single person or department.

Therefore, it is important to assign appropriate roles & responsibilities for each discipline based on their expertise & involvement in the problem area.

Some examples of roles & responsibilities are:

8D Problem Solving Discipline Roles and Responsibilities

By defining clear roles & responsibilities for each discipline, businesses can ensure accountability, transparency, and collaboration throughout the process.

Establish a common language & framework for communication

Another key factor for successful implementation is having a common language & framework for communication among team members & stakeholders. Communication is essential for sharing information, ideas, or feedback during the process.

However, communication can also be challenging due to different backgrounds, perspectives, or expectations among team members & stakeholders. Therefore, it is important to establish a common language & framework for communication that can facilitate understanding, alignment, and agreement throughout the process. Some examples of common language & framework are:

  • Using standard terminology & definitions for the 8D process
  • Implementing visual tools & templates to document & present the 8D process
  • Using common metrics & criteria to measure & evaluate the 8D process
  • Establishing feedback mechanisms & channels to communicate & collaborate during the 8D process

By establishing a common language & framework for communication, businesses can ensure clarity, consistency, and quality throughout the process.

Provide adequate training & support for team members

A third key factor for successful implementation is providing adequate training & support for team members who are involved in the 8D process. Team members need to have sufficient knowledge, skills, or confidence to perform their roles & responsibilities effectively. However, team members may not have prior experience or exposure to the 8D process or its tools & techniques. Therefore, it is important to provide adequate training & support for team members that can enhance their competence & capability during the process. Some examples of training & support are:

  • Providing formal training sessions or workshops on the 8D process or its tools & techniques
  • Offering coaching or mentoring from experts or experienced practitioners on the 8D process or its tools & techniques
  • Contributing access to resources or references on the 8D process or its tools & techniques
  • Maintaining feedback or recognition of team members’ performance or improvement during the 8D process

By providing adequate training & support for team members, businesses can ensure effectiveness, efficiency, and engagement throughout the process.

To illustrate the versatility and applicability of 8D problem solving across different industries and contexts, here is a hypothetical example of successful 8D problem solving:

Example: Reducing Customer Complaints in a Food Manufacturing Company

A food manufacturing company was facing a high rate of customer complaints due to foreign materials found in their products. The company used 8D problem solving to address this issue and improve product quality. Here are the steps they took within each discipline:

The company formed a cross-functional team consisting of representatives from quality assurance, production, engineering, and customer service. The team leader was the quality assurance manager who had the authority and responsibility to coordinate the activities and communicate with stakeholders.

The team defined and described the problem using data and facts from customer complaints and product inspection records. The team used the 5W2H method to clarify the aspects of the problem. The problem statement was: “In the past six months, we have received 25 customer complaints due to foreign materials such as metal shavings, plastic pieces, or wood chips found in our products.”

The team developed interim containment actions that would prevent or minimize the occurrence of foreign materials in their products until a permanent solution was found. The team identified and implemented measures such as increasing the frequency and intensity of product inspection, installing additional metal detectors and filters in the production line, and segregating and quarantining any products that were suspected or confirmed to contain foreign materials.

The team determined the root causes that were responsible for creating or allowing foreign materials to enter their products. They then used data analysis tools such as Pareto charts and fishbone diagrams to identify potential causes. Root cause analysis techniques such as 5 Whys to verify or validate the causes were also implemented.

Ultimately, they found that there were three main root causes:

  • inadequate maintenance of equipment that resulted in metal shavings or plastic pieces falling off during operation;
  • improper handling of raw materials that resulted in wood chips or other contaminants being mixed in during storage or transportation;
  • lack of awareness or training of staff on how to prevent or detect foreign materials in products.

The team chose permanent corrective actions that would address or remove root causes permanently. The team generated multiple possible solutions using brainstorming techniques such as SCAMPER and TRIZ. They also evaluated each solution using criteria such as feasibility, effectiveness, cost, risk, or impact. Eventually, they selected the best solutions that met customer needs and expectations.

The solutions were:

  • implementing a preventive maintenance program for equipment that included regular inspection, cleaning, and replacement of parts;
  • establishing a quality control system for raw materials that included verification, testing, and labeling of incoming materials;
  • conducting a training program for staff on how to prevent, detect, and report foreign materials in products.

The team implemented permanent corrective actions that were chosen in D5. An action plan that specified who would do what by when using tools such as Gantt charts and PDCA cycles was then developed. They then executed the action plan according to schedule using tools such as checklists and standard operating procedures.

The team prevented recurrence by ensuring that permanent corrective actions were effective and sustainable. They first verified that root causes had been eliminated using tools such as control charts and statistical process control (SPC). Next, they validated that customer requirements had been met using tools such as surveys and audits. After implementing permanent corrective actions, the rate of customer complaints due to foreign materials dropped by 90%.

Team efforts were recognized by acknowledging their contributions and achievements throughout the process. The team celebrated their success by sharing their results with stakeholders using tools such as reports and presentations. Management also appreciated their efforts by rewarding them with recognition or incentives such as certificates, gift cards, or bonuses.

Common Challenges and Best Practices in 8D Problem Solving

Despite its benefits and advantages,

8D problem solving can also pose some challenges for businesses that want to implement it effectively. Some of these challenges are:

  • Resistance to change from staff or management who are used to existing processes or practices
  • Lack of commitment or support from senior leaders who do not see the value or urgency of problem-solving
  • Difficulty in defining or measuring problems
  • Insufficient data or information to support analysis or decision making
  • Conflicts or disagreements among team members or stakeholders due to different opinions or interests

To overcome these challenges and ensure successful 8D problem solving, businesses can adopt some best practices such as:

  • Communicating the benefits and objectives of 8D problem solving to staff and management
  • Securing the buy-in and sponsorship of senior leaders who can provide direction and resources
  • Using clear and objective criteria to define and measure problems
  • Collecting and analyzing relevant and reliable data or information
  • Resolving conflicts or disagreements through constructive dialogue and compromise

To ensure that 8D problem-solving efforts are not wasted or forgotten, businesses need to measure the effectiveness and impact of their initiatives. Measuring the effectiveness of 8D problem-solving efforts can help businesses:

  • Assess whether they have achieved their goals and expectations
  • Evaluate whether they have improved their performance and customer satisfaction
  • Identify areas for further improvement or optimization
  • Demonstrate their value and credibility to stakeholders

To measure the effectiveness of 8D problem-solving efforts, businesses can use various methods such as:

  • Key performance indicators (KPIs) that can be used to quantify the results or outcomes of 8D problem-solving initiatives. Some examples of KPIs are customer satisfaction scores, defect rates, cycle times, or cost savings.
  • Data collection and analysis tools that can be used to gather and interpret data or information related to 8D problem-solving initiatives. Some examples of data collection and analysis tools are surveys, audits, control charts, or statistical process control (SPC).
  • Periodic reviews and feedback mechanisms can be used to monitor and evaluate the progress and performance of 8D problem-solving initiatives. Some examples of periodic reviews and feedback mechanisms are reports, presentations, meetings, or feedback forms.

By measuring the effectiveness of 8D problem-solving efforts, businesses can ensure that they are continuously improving their quality, efficiency, and customer satisfaction.

You might also be interested in:

How to Use Key Risk Indicators to Manage Risks and Improve Performance
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8D Report and template

8D Report - Toolshero

8D Report: this article explains the 8D Report in a practical way. Besides the explanation of what this concept is, we also the 8 disciplines and the importance of teamwork. Next to that we also provide a template to get strated. Enjoy reading!

What is an 8D Report? The meaning

The 8D Report or 8d corrective action report is a problem-solving approach for product and process improvement. Furthermore, 8D Methodology is used to implement structural long-term solutions to prevent recurring problems. The 8D Report was first used in the automotive industry.

During World War II the 8D Method was used in Team Oriented Problem Solving (TOPS) in the United States under Military Standard 1520. It was later used and popularized by car manufacturer Ford .

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In the 1990s Ford continued to develop the 8D process as a result of which the process is said to have found its origin in the automotive industry. Today, the 8D Method can be used to write formal reports and it can be applied as a working and thinking method for smaller problems.

The 8D Report is also used as a means of communication within companies, which makes the problem solving method transparent and can therefore be applied to the entire production chain. The 8D method is also known as: Global 8D , Ford 8D or TOPS 8D .

8D Report: eight disciplines

The 8D Methodology mainly focuses on solving problems and comprises 8 steps or disciplines. It helps quality control staff find the root cause of problems within a production process in a structured manner so that they can resolve the problem(s).

In addition, it helps implement product or process improvements, which can prevent problems. The 8D Report is about mobilizing a good team that has sufficient expertise and experience to solve or prevent problems. The 8D Report consists of 8 disciplines that describe corrective measures based on the statistical analysis of the problem. This results in the following eight process steps:

8D Report disciplines - Toolshero

Figure 1 – 8D report: the eight disciplines

D1 – Create a team

Mobilizing a good team is essential. The team must preferably be multidisciplinary. Due to a varied combination of knowledge, skills and experience, one can look at a problem from different perspectives.

Besides having an effective team leader, it is also advisable to record team structure, goals, different team roles, procedures and rules in advance so that the team can begin taking action quickly and effectively, and there is no room for misunderstandings.

D2 – Describe the problem

Define the problem as objectively as possible. The 5W2H analysis (who, what, when, where, why, how, how much) is a welcome addition to the problem analysis and can help to arrive at a clear description of the problem.

D3 – Interim containment action

It may be necessary to implement temporary fixes. For example, to help or meet a customer quickly or when a deadline has to be met. It is about preventing a problem from getting worse until a permanent solution is implemented.

D4 – Identify the root cause

Before a permanent solution is found, it is important to identify all possible root causes that could explain why the problem occurred. Various methods can be used for this purpose, such as the fishbone diagram (Ishikawa) which considers factors such as people, equipment, machines and methods or the 5 whys method.

All causes must be checked and/ or proven and it is good to check why the problem was not noticed at the time it occurred.

Take a look at our article on Root Cause Analysis , a method of problem solving that aims at identifying the root causes of problems or incidents.

D5 – Developing permanent corrective actions

As soon as the root cause of the problem has been identified, it is possible to search for the best possible solution. Again various problem solving methods can be used such as value analysis and creative problem solving.

From here, permanent corrective actions can be selected and it must be confirmed that the selected corrective actions will not cause undesirable side effects. It is therefore advisable to define contingency actions that will be useful in unforeseen circumstances.

D6 – Implementing permanent corrective actions

As soon as the permanent corrective actions are identified, they can be implemented. By planning ongoing controls, possible underlying root causes are detected far in advance.

The long term effects should be monitored and unforeseen circumstances should be taken into account.

D7 – Preventive measures

Prevention is the best cure. This is why additional measures need to be taken to prevent similar problems. Preventative measures ensure that the possibility of recurrence is minimised. It is advisable to review management systems, operating systems and procedures, so that they can be improved procedures if necessary.

D8 – Congratulate the team

By congratulating the team on the results realized, all member are rewarded for their joint efforts. This is the most important step within the 8D method; without the team the root cause of the problem would not have been found and fixed.

By putting the team on a pedestal and sharing the knowledge throughout the organization, team motivation will be high to solve a problem the next time it presents itself.

The 8D Report is also about teamwork

A strength of this method is its focus on teamwork. The team as a whole is believed to be better and smarter than the sum of the qualities of the individuals. Not every problem justifies or requires the 8D Report.

Furthermore, the 8D Report is a fact-based problem solving process, which requires a number of specialized skills, as well as a culture of continuous improvement. It could be that training of the team members is required before 8D can work effectively within an organization.

The team must recognize the importance of cooperation in order to arrive at the best possible solution for implementation.

8D Report template

Ready to start with the 8D problem-solving approach? Start describing the different disciplines of 8D with this 8D Report template.

Download the 8D Report template

Join the Toolshero community

It’s Your Turn

What do you think? Can you apply the 8D Report in today’s modern business companies? Do you recognize the practical explanation or do you have more suggestions? What are your success factors for problem analysis and problem solving?

Share your experience and knowledge in the comments box below.

More information

  • Behrens, B. A., Wilde, I., & Hoffmann, M. (2007). Complaint management using the extended 8D-method along the automotive supply chain . Production Engineering, 1(1), 91-95.
  • Krajnc, M. (2012). With 8D method to excellent quality . RUO. Revija za Univerzalno Odlicnost, 1(3), 118.
  • Possley, M. (2016). 8D Team Based Problem Solving – 2nd Edition: An Instructive Example . CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform

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Anneke Kuijk

Anneke Kuijk

Anneke Kuijk is a text writer who has the qualities to analyze information and to extract the core message. This converts them into understandable and readable texts. In addition to writing content, she is also active as a teacher (language) integration and in many ways active with language.

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3 responses to “8d report and template”.

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What stands for D in 8D…?

the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

The D in 8D stands for 8 Disciplines / Eight Disciplines.

Kind regards, Tom

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The  8D  Problem  Solving  Process

The Global 8D Problem Solving Process

The 8D (Eight Disciplines) Problem Solving Process is a team-oriented and structured problem-solving methodology that is mainly used to identify, correct, and eliminate recurring problems.

The U.S. government first standardized the 8D Problem Solving Process during the Second World War, referring to it as Military Standard 1520. It was later improved and popularized by the Ford Motor Company in the early ‘90s.

Today, the 8D Problem Solving Process has become a standard in many industries as problem-solving, as an internal Corrective Action Request (CAR) Process, and as a Supplier Corrective Action Request (SCAR) Process.

The 8D Problem Solving Process focuses on the origin of the problem by determining root causes and establishing permanent corrective and preventive actions. It follows a systematic eight-step process with integrated basic problem-solving tools.

D1 Establish the Team : Establish a small group of people with the process and/or product knowledge, allocated time, authority, and skills in the required technical disciplines to solve the problem and implement corrective actions. Key Deliverables include:

  • Review the problem or improvement opportunity
  • Review priorities, scope, and complexity
  • Identify if a team is needed
  • Identify team members and establish the team
  • Nominate a team leader and project champion
  • Establish basic team guidelines
  • Consider team-building exercises

D2 Describe the Problem : Describe the internal or external problem by identifying “what is wrong with what” and detailing the problem in quantifiable terms. Develop a clear problem statement and problem description.

  • Develop a Problem Statement
  • Develop a Problem Description using the “IS – IS NOT Matrix”
  • Develop a flowchart of the process and identify critical process steps with respect to the Problem Description
  • Develop a Fishbone Diagram or Process Variables Map to identify possible causes?
  • Determine whether this problem describes a “something changed” or a “never been there” situation
  • Establish a high-level project plan, including milestones, project goals, and objectives

D3 Develop Interim Containment Actions : Define, verify and implement interim containment action to isolate the effects of the problem from any internal and/or external Customer until permanent corrective (preventive) actions are implemented.

  • Define potential Interim Containment Action
  • Verify the effectiveness of potential Interim Containment Action
  • Select and implement Interim Containment Action
  • Validate the effectiveness of implemented Interim Containment Action with the Customer

D4 Define and Verify Root Cause(s) and Escape Point(s) : Isolate and verify the root cause by testing each root cause theory against the problem description and test data. Isolate and verify the place in the process where the effect of the root cause could have been detected and contained but was not (escape point).

  • Establish any additional data collection plans needed to learn more about the problem and/or possible causes
  • Utilize the Fishbone Diagram or Process Variables Map created earlier to identify the most likely cause(s)
  • Isolate and verify the most likely cause(s) by testing each Root Cause Theory against the Problem Description and the collected data
  • Isolate and verify the place in the process where the effect of the root cause could have been detected and contained but was not (escape point)

D5 Choose and Verify Permanent Corrective Actions : Select the best permanent corrective actions to remove the root cause and address the escape point in the process. Verify that both decisions will be successful when implemented and not cause any undesirable effects.

  • Develop solution(s) to remove the root cause(s)
  • Develop solution(s) to address the escape point(s)
  • Select the best solution(s) to remove the root cause(s)
  • Select the best solution(s) to address the escape point(s)
  • Verify that effectiveness of the selected solutions
  • Verify that selected solutions do not cause undesirable effects

D6 Implement and Validate Permanent Corrective Actions : Plan and implement selected permanent corrective actions, and remove the interim containment action. Monitor long-term results.

  • Implement the best solution(s) to remove the root cause(s)
  • Implement the best solution(s) to address the escape point(s)
  • Validate the effectiveness of the implemented solutions from the Customer perspective
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the implemented solutions and assure that they do not cause any undesirable effects
  • Remove Interim Containment Action

D7 Prevent Recurrence : Modify the necessary systems, including policies, methods, and procedures, to prevent the recurrence of the problem and similar ones.

  • Identify opportunities to improve and standardize systems, policies, methods, and procedures for the present problem
  • Identify opportunities to improve and standardize systems, policies, methods, and procedures for similar problems

D8 Recognize Team and Individual Contribution : Complete the team experience and sincerely recognize both team and individual contributions. Celebrate success and identify lessons learned.

  • Perform a final review of the problem-solving project
  • Finalize and archive project documentation
  • Recognize the team’s success and individual contributions
  • Capture lessons learned and integrate findings into the 8D Problem Solving Process
  • Reward and celebrate

While some basic problem-solving tools, such as the 5 Whys, Process Flow Charting, Is/Is Not Analysis, Fishbone Diagram, Process Variables Mapping, Comparative Analysis, Root Cause Verification, and Process Control Plans are an integral part of the overall 8D Problem Solving Process, others tools can be added to this process based on the organization’s needs.

Operational Excellence Consulting offers a one- and two-day The 8D Problem Solving Process Workshop . To learn more about our 8D (Eight Disciplines) Problem Solving Process Solution, please Contact Us and visit our OpEx Academy for Training Materials , eLearning Modules , Online Courses , and Public Workshops .

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The Basics of Structured Problem-Solving Methodologies: DMAIC & 8D

Topics: Minitab Engage

When it comes to solving a problem, organizations want to get to the root cause of the problem, as quickly as possible. They also want to ensure that they find the most effective solution to that problem, make sure the solution is implemented fully, and is sustained into the future so that the problem no longer occurs. The best way to do this is by implementing structured problem-solving. In this blog post, we’ll briefly cover structured problem-solving and the best improvement methodologies to achieve operational excellence. Before we dive into ways Minitab can help, let’s first cover the basics of problem-solving.

WHAT IS STRUCTURED PROBLEM-SOLVING?

Structured problem-solving is a disciplined approach that breaks down the problem-solving process into discrete steps with clear objectives. This method enables you to tackle complex problems, while ensuring you’re resolving the right ones. It also ensures that you fully understand those problems, you've considered the reasonable solutions, and are effectively implementing and sustaining them.

WHAT IS A STRUCTURED PROBLEM-SOLVING METHODOLOGY?

A structured problem-solving methodology is a technique that consists of a series of phases that a project must pass through before it gets completed. The goal of a methodology is to highlight the intention behind solving a particular problem and offers a strategic way to resolve it. WHAT ARE THE BEST PROBLEM-SOLVING METHODOLOGIES?

That depends on the problem you’re trying to solve for your improvement initiative. The structure and discipline of completing all the steps in each methodology is more important than the specific methodology chosen. To help you easily visualize these methodologies, we’ve created the Periodic Table of Problem-Solving Methodologies. Now let’s cover two important methodologies for successful process improvement and problem prevention: DMAIC and 8D .

DMAIC Methodology

8D is known as the Eight Disciplines of problem-solving. It consists of eight steps to solve difficult, recurring, or critical problems. The methodology consists of problem-solving tools to help you identify, correct, and eliminate the source of problems within your organization. If the problem you’re trying to solve is complex and needs to be resolved quickly, 8D might be the right methodology to implement for your organization. Each methodology could be supported with a project template, where its roadmap corresponds to the set of phases in that methodology. It is a best practice to complete each step of a given methodology, before moving on to the next one.

MINITAB ENGAGE, YOUR SOLUTION TO EFFECTIVE PROBLEM-SOLVING

Minitab Engage TM was built to help organizations drive innovation and improvement initiatives. What makes our solution unique is that it combines structured problem-solving methodologies with tools and dashboards to help you plan, execute, and measure your innovation initiatives! There are many problem-solving methodologies and tools to help you get started. We have the ultimate end-to-end improvement solution to help you reach innovation success.

Ready to explore structured problem-solving?

Download our free eBook to discover the top methodologies and tools to help you accelerate your innovation programs.

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the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

What is Eight Disciplines (8D)

Provided By: Management and Strategy Institute

Download This Free eBook Here:  What is Eight Disciplines (8D)

Table of Contents

8D-man-at-desk

Eight Disciplines (8D) is a problem-solving methodology designed to address, correct, and eliminate recurring problems impacting business operations, manufacturing, and product development.

Developed by Ford Motor Company in the 1980s, the 8D method has since been widely adopted across various industries as a comprehensive quality and process improvement tool. It combines teamwork, analytical tools, and a systematic approach to identify, solve, and prevent problems.

How & When 8D Methodology is Used

The 8D methodology is used when a recurring or significant problem has been identified and needs a structured approach to resolve. It is advantageous in scenarios where the root cause of the problem is not immediately apparent and requires thorough analysis to identify.

Industries like automotive, manufacturing, aerospace, and healthcare, among others, leverage 8D for its systematic approach to problem-solving and its emphasis on prevention.

The process is typically initiated once a problem is recognized and can significantly impact quality, safety, customer satisfaction, or costs. The 8D approach is about resolving the issue at hand and implementing a continuous improvement system that prevents similar problems from occurring.

The Eight Disciplines Explained

The 8D methodology consists of the following steps:

D1: Establish the Team

The first formal step of the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving methodology, D1, focuses on establishing the team that will work on identifying, analyzing, and solving the problem at hand. This step is critical to the success of the 8D process, as the team’s composition, skills, and collaboration will significantly impact the effectiveness of the problem-solving efforts. Here’s a detailed look at D1, including its objectives, key considerations, and best practices for assembling an effective team.

Objectives of D1

  • Form a Cross-functional Team : The primary objective is to assemble a team with members from various departments or functions relevant to the problem. This diversity ensures a broad range of perspectives and expertise, facilitating a comprehensive understanding of the problem and the development of effective solutions.
  • Define Roles and Responsibilities : Clearly outline each team member’s roles, responsibilities, and expectations. This clarity helps in ensuring accountability and efficient collaboration throughout the 8D process.
  • Empower the Team : Equip the team with the authority, resources, and support needed to investigate the problem thoroughly and implement solutions effectively. This includes access to data, tools, and decision-making authority.

Key Considerations for Establishing the Team

  • Expertise and Knowledge : Select members with the relevant technical knowledge, problem-solving skills, and experience related to the problem area. Including experts who understand the processes, products, or services involved is crucial.
  • Interpersonal Skills : Consider potential team members’ interpersonal skills and teamwork capabilities. Effective communication, collaboration, and conflict-resolution skills are essential for the team’s success.
  • Representation from Affected Areas : Ensure that the team includes representation from all areas affected by the problem. This can include manufacturing, quality assurance, engineering, customer service, and other relevant departments.
  • Leadership : Appoint a team leader with strong leadership skills and the ability to guide the team through the 8D process. The team leader should be capable of facilitating meetings, keeping the team focused, and ensuring progress.

Best Practices for Assembling an Effective Team

  • Size of the Team : Aim for a manageable team size, typically between 4 to 8 members. This size allows for diverse input while maintaining efficient communication and decision-making.
  • Training : Provide training or orientation on the 8D methodology and problem-solving tools to team members unfamiliar with the process. This ensures that all members are aligned and can contribute effectively.
  • Commitment and Availability : Ensure selected team members are available and committed to participating in the 8D process. This may require securing support from management to allocate time and resources for the team’s activities.
  • Communication Plan : Establish a communication plan outlining how the team will communicate internally and with external stakeholders. Regular updates and meetings should be scheduled to keep everyone informed and engaged.

In summary, D1 is about carefully selecting and preparing a team with the right mix of skills, knowledge, and perspectives to tackle the problem effectively. A well-established team sets the foundation for a successful 8D process, enabling thorough analysis, creative solutions, and sustainable improvements.

D2: Describe the Problem

After establishing a well-composed team in D1, the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving methodology progresses to D2, which focuses on accurately and comprehensively describing the problem. This step is crucial as it lays the foundation for understanding the issue and guides the subsequent steps in the 8D process. An effective problem description ensures that the team has a clear and shared understanding of what needs to be addressed. Here’s a closer look at D2, including its objectives, key elements, and best practices.

Objectives of D2

  • Define the Problem Clearly : Provide a clear, concise description of the problem, emphasizing specific, measurable details about what is happening, where, when, and to what extent.
  • Establish Baseline Data : Gather and document quantitative data related to the problem to establish a baseline for future comparisons. This data helps in understanding the severity, frequency, and trends of the problem.
  • Identify the Impact : Assess and describe the impact of the problem on operations, quality, customer satisfaction, costs, and safety. Understanding the impact helps prioritize the problem-solving efforts.

Key Elements of an Effective Problem Description

  • Specificity : Avoid vague descriptions. Be specific about the details of the problem, including the affected product or process, locations, time frames, and quantities.
  • Quantitative Data : Use data and evidence to describe the problem. Quantifiable information such as defect rates, downtime, and customer complaints provides a clearer picture of the problem’s magnitude.
  • Use of Visuals : Where possible, use charts, graphs, photographs, or diagrams to illustrate the problem. Visual aids can enhance understanding and communication among team members and stakeholders.
  • 5W2H Method : Employ the 5W2H method (Who, What, Where, When, Why, How, How Much) to ensure a comprehensive description. While not all elements may be known at this stage, addressing as many as possible strengthens the problem statement.

Eight Disciplines

Best Practices for Describing the Problem

  • Involve Relevant Stakeholders : Engage with individuals who are directly affected by the problem or who have firsthand knowledge of it. Their insights can contribute to a more accurate and detailed problem description.
  • Avoid Assuming Causes : Focus on describing the problem without jumping to conclusions about its causes. The analysis of root causes is addressed in later stages of the 8D process.
  • Initial Problem Statement Revision : Be prepared to revise the problem statement as more information becomes available. An iterative approach ensures the problem description remains accurate and relevant throughout the process.
  • Document Everything : Maintain thorough documentation of the problem description, including all data, visuals, and stakeholder inputs. This documentation will be invaluable as the team progresses through the 8D steps.

In summary, D2 is about defining the problem in clear, specific, and measurable terms, utilizing data and evidence to outline the scope and impact of the issue. A well-articulated problem statement is essential for guiding the team’s efforts in investigating root causes, developing corrective actions, and ultimately resolving the problem effectively.

D3: Develop Interim Containment Plan

Following the establishment of the team and the detailed description of the problem, the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving methodology advances to D3, which involves developing an interim containment plan. This step is crucial for preventing the problem from causing further harm or spreading while the team works on identifying and implementing a permanent solution. Here’s a deeper look at D3, its objectives, key considerations, and best practices.

Objectives of D3

  • Minimize Impact : Implement immediate, temporary measures to contain the problem, minimizing its impact on customers, operations, and quality.
  • Prevent Spread : Ensure that the problem does not escalate or spread to other areas, processes, or products.
  • Maintain Operations : Keep operations running as smoothly as possible while the team works on identifying and implementing a long-term solution.

Key Considerations for Developing an Interim Containment Plan

  • Quick and Effective Measures : The containment actions should be quick to implement and effective in addressing the immediate impacts of the problem. They don’t have to be the long-term solution but should provide immediate relief.
  • Assessment of Risks and Side Effects : Evaluate the potential risks and side effects of the containment actions. It’s vital to ensure that these actions do not introduce new problems or significantly disrupt operations.
  • Resource Allocation : Determine what resources (e.g., personnel, equipment, materials) are needed to implement the containment actions and ensure they are readily available.

Best Practices for Interim Containment

  • Identify Containment Actions : Containment actions can vary widely depending on the nature of the problem. Manufacturing issues might involve segregating and inspecting inventory to remove defective products. In service-oriented processes, it might entail additional checks or temporary manual oversight.
  • Communication and Documentation : Clearly communicate the need for, and details of, the containment actions to all affected parties. Document all actions taken, including who is responsible for implementing and monitoring these actions’ effectiveness.
  • Monitor and Adjust : Continuously monitor the effectiveness of the containment actions. Be prepared to adjust or implement additional measures if the problem persists or side effects are observed.
  • Link to Root Cause Analysis : While D3 focuses on immediate containment, it should be implemented with an understanding that it is a temporary fix. Insights gained during this stage can be valuable for the root cause analysis in D4.

Example of Containment Actions

For a manufacturing defect identified in a product line, containment actions might include:

  • Inspecting All Current Inventory : Perform a thorough inspection of all current inventory to identify and segregate any defective products.
  • Halting Production : Temporarily stop production of the affected product line until the root cause is identified and addressed.
  • Notifying Customers : If defective products have reached customers, inform them of the issue, and offer replacements, repairs, or refunds as appropriate.

In summary, D3 is about quickly responding to the problem with effective interim measures that contain its impact. These actions are crucial for maintaining customer trust and operational stability while the team works on a permanent solution. Properly executed, the containment plan sets the stage for a thorough analysis and resolution of the underlying issue in the subsequent steps of the 8D process.

D4: Determine Root Cause(s)

After establishing an interim containment plan to manage the immediate impacts of the problem, the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving process moves to D4, which focuses on identifying the root cause(s) of the problem. This critical step involves a deep dive into the problem to understand why it occurred in the first place, setting the stage for developing effective, long-lasting solutions. Here’s a closer look at D4, including its objectives, methodologies, and best practices.

Objectives of D4

  • Identify Underlying Causes : The primary objective of D4 is to determine the fundamental reasons behind the problem, going beyond superficial symptoms to understand the underlying causes.
  • Systematic Analysis : Employ a systematic approach to analyze the problem and its contributing factors, ensuring that all possible causes are considered.
  • Evidence-Based Conclusions : Base conclusions on data and evidence, rather than assumptions or speculation, to ensure that the identified root causes accurately represent the source of the problem.

Methodologies for Root Cause Analysis

Several tools and techniques can be employed during D4 to facilitate thorough and systematic root cause analysis:

  • 5 Whys : A questioning technique used to drill down into the details of the problem and uncover the root cause by repeatedly asking “Why?” until the fundamental cause is identified. [ Learn More ]
  • Ishikawa (Fishbone) Diagram : A visual tool that helps identify and categorize potential causes of a problem across various categories (e.g., People, Processes, Materials, Equipment), facilitating a comprehensive analysis.
  • Pareto Analysis : A statistical technique that applies the 80/20 rule to identify the few critical causes that contribute to most of the problem, helping prioritize focus areas. [ Learn More ]
  • Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) : A top-down, deductive analysis method used to explore the causes of a specific problem or undesired event.

Best Practices for Root Cause Analysis

  • Cross-functional Collaboration : Engage team members from different functions or departments to ensure a broad perspective is considered during the analysis. Different viewpoints can uncover aspects of the problem that might otherwise be overlooked.
  • Data Collection and Analysis : Gather and analyze data related to the problem, including historical data, to identify patterns, trends, and anomalies that might point to root causes.
  • Verification of Root Causes : Before concluding the analysis, verify that the identified root causes, when addressed, would prevent the recurrence of the problem. This might involve experimentation, additional data analysis, or consulting with subject matter experts.
  • Document Findings : Thoroughly document the analysis process, findings, and evidence supporting the identification of root causes. This documentation is crucial for justifying the corrective actions in later stages and for future reference.

Example of Root Cause Identification

If a manufacturing process is producing a high rate of defective products, root cause analysis might reveal that the root cause is outdated equipment that cannot maintain the necessary precision for production. Alternatively, the analysis might uncover that the real issue is a lack of operator training, leading to improper machine setup.

In summary, D4 is about rigorously identifying the root cause(s) of the problem through systematic analysis and evidence-based conclusions. Understanding the underlying reasons why a problem occurred is essential for developing effective corrective actions that prevent recurrence, setting the stage for D5, where these solutions are selected and planned.

D5: Choose and Verify Permanent Corrective Actions (PCAs)

After identifying the root cause(s) of the problem in D4, the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving process progresses to D5. This crucial step involves selecting, verifying, and planning the implementation of permanent corrective actions (PCAs) to address the root causes identified. The goal is to ensure that the problem is resolved in a way that prevents its recurrence. Here’s a detailed look at D5, including its objectives, considerations, and best practices.

Objectives of D5

  • Select Effective Solutions : Choose corrective actions that directly address the root causes of the problem to ensure that it is effectively resolved.
  • Prevent Recurrence : Ensure that the chosen solutions not only fix the problem but also prevent it from happening again in the future.
  • Consider Impact : Evaluate the potential impact of the corrective actions on other processes, systems, or products to avoid creating new problems.

Key Considerations for Choosing Corrective Actions

  • Effectiveness : Assess the potential effectiveness of each corrective action in addressing the root cause. This often involves a cost-benefit analysis to determine the most efficient solution.
  • Feasibility : Evaluate the feasibility of implementing each corrective action, considering factors such as time, resources, and organizational constraints.
  • Side Effects : Consider any potential side effects or negative impacts of corrective actions on other processes or areas.

Best Practices for Selecting and Verifying PCAs

  • Brainstorming and Collaboration : Engage the team in brainstorming sessions to generate a wide range of potential corrective actions. Collaboration ensures diverse perspectives and innovative solutions.
  • Pilot Testing : Where feasible, conduct pilot tests of the proposed corrective actions. This allows the team to assess their effectiveness and make necessary adjustments before full-scale implementation.
  • Stakeholder Input : Involve stakeholders, including those who will be affected by the corrective actions, in the selection process. Their insights can provide valuable input on the practicality and potential impact of the proposed solutions.
  • Documentation : Thoroughly document the decision-making process, including the rationale for selecting specific corrective actions and the results of any tests or evaluations conducted.

Example of Verifying Corrective Actions

If the root cause of a manufacturing defect was identified as outdated equipment unable to maintain precision, a potential corrective action might be to upgrade or replace the equipment. Before implementing this solution across the board, a pilot test could be conducted with one production line to verify the effectiveness of the new equipment in reducing defects. The results would inform whether this solution should be applied more broadly or adjusted.

Implementation Planning

Once the corrective actions have been selected and verified, the next step is to plan their implementation. This involves:

  • Developing a Detailed Action Plan : Outline the steps needed to implement the corrective actions, including timelines, responsibilities, and required resources.
  • Setting Milestones and Metrics for Success : Establish clear milestones and performance metrics to monitor the effectiveness of the corrective actions over time.
  • Communication : Communicate the plan and expected outcomes to all stakeholders, ensuring alignment and support for the implementation phase.

In summary, D5 is a critical step in the 8D process, where the team selects and verifies corrective actions that will effectively address the root causes of the problem. By carefully considering each solution’s impact, effectiveness, and feasibility, and involving stakeholders in the process, the team can ensure that the chosen actions will provide a lasting resolution to the problem, paving the way for successful implementation in D6.

D6: Implement and Validate Corrective Actions

Following the selection and verification of permanent corrective actions (PCAs) in D5, the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving process moves on to D6, which focuses on implementing and validating these corrective actions. This crucial step ensures that the solutions are effectively put into place and that they effectively resolve the problem and prevent its recurrence. Here’s an in-depth look at D6, including its objectives, implementation strategies, and best practices for validation.

Objectives of D6

  • Implement Solutions : Execute the plan developed in D5 to implement the corrective actions that address the root causes of the problem.
  • Monitor Implementation : Closely monitor the implementation process to ensure corrective actions are executed as planned and identify any issues or barriers to successful implementation.
  • Validate Effectiveness : Verify that the implemented corrective actions have effectively resolved the problem and that there are no unintended negative impacts on other processes or areas.

Strategies for Implementing Corrective Actions

  • Detailed Implementation Plan : Utilize the detailed plan developed in D5, which outlines the steps, timelines, responsibilities, and resources required for implementation. This plan serves as a roadmap, guiding the implementation process.
  • Communication and Training : Communicate the implementation plan to all relevant parties, ensuring everyone understands their role. Provide training or support as necessary to facilitate effective implementation.
  • Resource Allocation : Ensure that all necessary resources, including personnel, equipment, and financial resources, are available and allocated to support the implementation of corrective actions.

Best Practices for Validating Corrective Actions

  • Establish Validation Criteria : Define clear criteria for evaluating the success of the corrective actions. These criteria should be directly linked to the metrics and goals established during the planning phase.
  • Collect and Analyze Data : Gather data to assess the effectiveness of the corrective actions. This may involve measuring performance indicators, conducting inspections, or gathering stakeholder feedback.
  • Adjust and Optimize : If the data indicates that the corrective actions are not fully effective, or if there are unforeseen negative impacts, be prepared to make adjustments. This may involve revising the actions, implementing additional measures, or conducting further analysis to identify additional root causes.
  • Document Results : Thoroughly document the implementation process, the validation efforts, and the outcomes. This documentation should include data analysis, adjustments, and final assessment of the effectiveness of corrective actions.

Example of Implementation and Validation

If the corrective action involved upgrading equipment to address manufacturing defects, the implementation phase would include purchasing and installing the new equipment, training operators on its use, and integrating it into the production process. Validation would involve monitoring defect rates before and after the implementation, assessing production efficiency, and gathering feedback from operators to ensure that the problem has been resolved and that no new issues are arising from the change.

In summary, D6 is about taking the corrective actions from plan to action, ensuring they are implemented effectively, and validating their success in solving the original problem. This step requires careful planning, coordination, and data-driven validation to confirm that the problem has been addressed and to prevent its recurrence, setting the stage for preventive measures in D7.

D7: Take Preventive Measures

After implementing and validating the effectiveness of the corrective actions in D6, the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving process advances to D7. This step focuses on taking preventive measures to ensure that the problem and similar issues do not recur in the future. D7 is about embedding long-term solutions into the organization’s processes, systems, and culture. Here’s a detailed look at D7, including its objectives, key activities, and best practices.

Objectives of D7

  • Prevent Recurrence : Establish measures that prevent the original problem and similar issues from occurring again in the future.
  • Systemic Improvement : Identify and implement changes to systems, processes, and practices to improve overall quality and performance, based on the learnings from the problem-solving process.
  • Enhance Organizational Learning : Promote a culture of continuous improvement and learning by sharing insights and best practices derived from the problem-solving process across the organization.

Key Activities for Taking Preventive Measures

  • Review of Related Processes and Systems : Examine other processes and systems that could be affected by the same or similar root causes. This broad review helps identify areas where preventive measures can be applied more widely.
  • Modification of Standards and Procedures : Update existing standards, procedures, and documentation to incorporate the learnings and preventive measures identified during the problem-solving process. This may include revising work instructions, quality standards, training materials, and maintenance schedules.
  • Training and Education : Conduct training sessions to educate employees on the new or revised standards and procedures. Ensure that all relevant personnel understand the changes and the reasons behind them.
  • Change Management : Implement change management practices to facilitate the adoption of new or revised processes and systems. This includes communicating the benefits of the changes, addressing concerns, and providing support during the transition.

Best Practices for Taking Preventive Measures

  • Root Cause Analysis for Prevention : Use the insights gained from the root cause analysis in D4 to identify potential vulnerabilities in other areas. By understanding the underlying causes, organizations can proactively address issues before they become problems.
  • Engagement and Ownership : Involve employees at all levels in developing and implementing preventive measures. Foster a sense of ownership and accountability for quality and continuous improvement.
  • Monitoring and Feedback Loops : Establish mechanisms for ongoing monitoring of the effectiveness of preventive measures. Encourage feedback from employees and stakeholders to identify opportunities for further improvement.
  • Continuous Improvement Culture : Promote a culture that values learning from mistakes and proactively seeks improvement opportunities. Recognize and celebrate the contributions of teams and individuals to fostering continuous improvement.

Example of Preventive Measures

Suppose the problem-solving process revealed that a manufacturing defect was due to inadequate training on new equipment. In that case, preventive measures might include developing a comprehensive training program for all operators on existing and future equipment, revising the onboarding process for new hires to include hands-on training sessions, and scheduling regular refresher courses to ensure skills remain up-to-date.

In summary, D7 is about solidifying the gains made through the problem-solving process by implementing systemic changes that prevent recurrence of the problem and similar issues. By taking preventive measures, organizations can improve their resilience, enhance quality and performance, and build a culture of continuous improvement that drives long-term success.

D8: Congratulate Your Team

The final step in the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving process, D8, serves a crucial role in recognizing and celebrating the efforts and achievements of the team that has worked through the complex process of resolving a problem. This step is about acknowledging the hard work, dedication, and collaboration that contributed to the successful outcome. Here’s an in-depth look at D8, including its objectives, significance, and best practices for effectively congratulating the team.

Objectives of D8

  • Recognize and Reward Effort : Acknowledge the individual and collective efforts of the team members who contributed to identifying and implementing the solution to the problem.
  • Reinforce Teamwork and Collaboration : Highlight the importance of teamwork, collaboration, and cross-functional engagement as key factors in problem-solving.
  • Promote a Positive Culture : Foster a positive organizational culture that values problem-solving, continuous improvement, and employee contributions.
  • Encourage Future Participation : Motivate team members and others within the organization to actively participate in future problem-solving efforts by demonstrating that their contributions will be recognized and valued.

Significance of Congratulating the Team

  • Morale and Motivation : Celebrating successes boosts team morale and motivation, making members feel valued and appreciated. This positive reinforcement encourages continued engagement and commitment to excellence.
  • Learning and Development : Recognizing the team’s achievements provides an opportunity to reflect on what was learned during the process, reinforcing best practices and lessons that can be applied to future challenges.
  • Visibility and Communication : Publicly acknowledging the team’s work communicates to the wider organization the importance of the problem-solving process and the positive outcomes that can be achieved, promoting a culture of transparency and accountability.

Best Practices for Congratulating the Team

  • Personalized Recognition : Tailor recognition to the team and its members, acknowledging specific contributions and achievements. Personalized recognition can be more meaningful and impactful.
  • Formal and Informal Acknowledgment : Use formal and informal channels to congratulate the team. Formal recognition might include awards or commendations, while informal recognition could be a team lunch or handwritten notes.
  • Involve Leadership : Involvement of senior leadership in the recognition process can significantly enhance its impact. Leadership acknowledgment underscores the value placed on problem-solving and continuous improvement efforts at the highest levels of the organization.
  • Share Success Stories : Share the team’s success story across the organization through internal newsletters, meetings, or intranet posts. Highlighting the problem-solving journey and its outcomes can inspire others and promote a proactive problem-solving culture.
  • Continuous Feedback Loop : Integrate recognition into a continuous feedback loop where teams are regularly acknowledged for their contributions to problem-solving and improvement initiatives, not just at the conclusion of an 8D process.

Example of Congratulating the Team

After successfully implementing corrective actions to resolve a production issue, a company might organize an all-hands meeting where senior management formally recognizes the team. Each team member could receive a certificate of appreciation, and the team leader might share insights from the problem-solving journey, highlighting key contributions from team members. Additionally, the team could be treated to a celebratory lunch or team-building activity, reinforcing the sense of camaraderie and achievement.

In summary, D8 is a vital step that closes the 8D problem-solving process on a high note, reinforcing the value of teamwork, dedication, and continuous improvement. By effectively congratulating the team, organizations recognize the immediate achievements and foster a positive culture that encourages ongoing engagement, learning, and excellence in problem-solving.

What about D0 (Discipline Zero)?

In some organizations, the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving process includes an additional preliminary step known as D0 (Discipline Zero). D0 serves as a preparatory phase before the formal 8D process begins and is crucial for setting the stage for effective problem-solving.

The main objective of D0 is to plan and prepare for the 8D process. This involves identifying the need for an 8D, gathering initial information about the problem, and ensuring that the necessary resources and commitments are in place to support the process. It’s about getting ready to tackle the problem efficiently and effectively.

What are some Negatives associated with the Eight Discipline Method?

While the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving method is widely regarded for its structured approach and effectiveness in addressing complex problems, some potential drawbacks and challenges are associated with its implementation and application. Here are some of the negatives or limitations that organizations might encounter when using the 8D method:

1. Resource Intensive:

The 8D process requires significant time and resources, including assembling a cross-functional team and dedicating time for detailed analysis and implementation of corrective actions. Smaller organizations or teams with limited resources may find it challenging to commit to the process fully.

Strategies to Overcome :

  • Prioritize Problems : Use the 8D method for issues that have a significant impact on quality, cost, or customer satisfaction, ensuring that resources are allocated to problems that warrant the investment.
  • Efficient Team Composition : Form smaller, more focused teams that include key personnel with the necessary expertise and authority to make decisions, reducing the resource burden.
  • Leverage Technology : Utilize project management and collaboration tools to streamline communication and documentation, making the process more efficient.

2. Complexity and Overhead:

The structured and rigorous nature of the 8D process can add complexity and administrative overhead, particularly for relatively simple problems that might be resolved more efficiently with less formal approaches.

  • Simplify Documentation : While thorough documentation is crucial, focus on streamlining and simplifying documentation requirements to the essentials, avoiding unnecessary complexity.
  • Tailor the Process : Adapt the 8D methodology to fit the organization’s specific needs and problem types, simplifying steps where possible without compromising the effectiveness of the problem-solving effort.
  • Incremental Implementation : Start with a pilot project to implement the 8D process on a smaller scale, allowing the organization to adjust and refine the approach before wider adoption.

3. Resistance to Change:

Introducing a structured problem-solving process like 8D can encounter resistance from employees accustomed to more informal approaches. Overcoming this resistance and fostering buy-in can require significant effort and change management.

  • Communicate Benefits : Clearly communicate the benefits of the 8D process, including real-world examples of how it has successfully resolved problems, to build buy-in and enthusiasm.
  • Involve Employees Early : Involve employees in implementing the 8D process from the beginning, seeking their input and addressing their concerns, to foster a sense of ownership and commitment.
  • Celebrate Successes : Publicly recognize and celebrate the successes achieved through the 8D process, reinforcing its value and encouraging wider acceptance and participation.
  • Change Management : Implement change management practices , including leadership endorsement, open communication, and training, to support employees through the transition to the new process.

The Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving methodology offers a structured and practical approach to identifying, solving, and preventing organizational problems. By emphasizing teamwork, systematic analysis, and continuous improvement, 8D helps organizations enhance their quality management practices, improve operations, and increase customer satisfaction. Through its disciplined approach, 8D equips teams with the tools and processes necessary to tackle complex issues, ensuring long-term success and stability in today’s competitive business environment.

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8D Problem solving

Using the 8D Problem Solving Process

AEHQ August 13, 2014 Core Automotive Knowledge & Principles Leave a Comment

Working in the engineering world is about analyzing and solving problems that we face with our designs, production lines and even in our environments as we work to build the highest quality automobiles in the industry. When we are faced with a problem, using an established problem solving process will help us to analyze the issue in the most thorough, quick and effective way possible and lead us to implementing a solution that is effective and well analyzed.

The 8 Disciplines or 8D problem solving method was developed by the Ford industry and helps to lead a team through the problem solving process that will identify the root cause of the issue and put controls in place so that it does not occur again. I have used this process many times in my engineering career, and I can say that it is one of the most effective tools to organize a group of people to actually solve a problem. The 8D Problem Solving Process is a tool that any team in any industry can use to solve problems in a quick, thorough and effective manner.

Outlining the 8D Process steps

The 8D problem solving method has 8 general disciplines and a planning phase. Each discipline is an important part of following the 8D process and skipping a step will definitely reduce the effectiveness of this tool. Even if time is short the team needs to follow each process step to reach the solution.

Figure 1 – 8 D Problem Solving Process

8D Problem Solving Process

Discipline 0 – Planning

The first discipline of the process is planning and includes looking at the big picture within your company and what is the best strategy to address the problem. If the problem is a “line down” situation then the resources available will be much higher than if the problem can be contained to one machine and there is a temporary work around that can be put in place.  This must be considered in the kick off phase. During the planning phase you need to establish the time frame, identify the team and the resources the team will need to solve the problem. Once these have been identified then it is time to move to the next discipline.

Discipline 1 – Build the Team

A good team will have all the necessary resources required to solve the problem and have their time made available to actively engage in the team to solve the problem (example, design engineering, manufacturing engineering , welding expert, materials expert, etc.). Once the team members are identified the next step is for the team to meet and establish a charter for the team activities. To build team work it can even be beneficial to try team building activities to encourage better trust and collaboration on the team (only with time of course).

Discipline 2 – Define the Problem

The next step of the process is to clearly identify what the problem is that must be solved. Sometimes problems can be ambiguous and the team must clearly identify the problem at hand using measurable details when possible. For example, a good problem definition is to eliminate dash board cracking during assembly to zero parts per minute (ppm) vs a bad example of ‘increase customer satisfaction’. Always be quantitative and avoid ambiguous statements.  Clearly identifying the problem focuses the team and stops wasted effort.

Discipline 3 – Put a temporary Fix in Place

Damage control is one responsibility of the team which requires putting a temporary fix in place to stop the problem from getting to the customer. This could be a 100% visual inspection to catch a defective part, removing suspect inventory, using a different machine or tool or any combination of these things. These short term solutions must be implemented quickly to avoid more quality issues.

Discipline 4 – Identify the Root Cause

Once the temporary control has been put in place the team can now focus on finding the root cause of the problem. Tools like as a Cause and Effect Analysis or Five Whys are available that can assist them team in doing a deep dive into the problem. It is important to keep digging as the root cause is not always apparent when you first begin analysis and the team must be diligent and persistent. Once the root cause is identified it must be corrected to move on to the next step.

Discipline 5 – Verify the Solution

After the root cause is identified and corrected the next step is to double check that the solution did fix the problem. One way to verify that the root cause has been identified and fixed is if you can create or recreate the problem.   Or the team can conduct a blind spot analysis to make sure that no stone has been left unturned and the true root cause has been identified.

Discipline 6 – Implement a Permanent Solution

When the team is confident that they have found the root cause and identified a solution then a permanent solution must be put in place. This could mean a change is made to the design, a material is changed to avoid a bad chemical interaction or that a process monitor is put in place to stop damage.

Discipline 7 – Prevention

A key to the success of the 8D problem solving process is that it helps prevent the process from occurring again. The team needs to document what happened and all their findings and then put procedures in place that will prevent future engineers from making the same mistakes in the future. These key learnings need to be documented in a secure location within the company so that the knowledge and experience isn’t lost.

Discipline 8 – Celebrate the Team’s Achievement

Problem Solven by Business team

Having the right tools to solve engineering problems when working in the automotive industry is key to building a quality product. The 8D problem solving process has proven successes and is a great tool to have in your arsenal when a problem comes up that must be solved quickly and effectively.

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8D Problem Solving | How We Leverage The 8 Disciplines

Posted on September 6, 2019

BY Borja Gomez

8 minutes, 21 seconds read

8d problem solving

The 8D problem-solving model is an invaluable tool for when things go wrong or need to be improved. It’s a collaborative and methodical approach to addressing critical problems, often used to enhance production processes. It does this by facilitating root cause analysis, containment plan development, and corrective solution implementation.  

When it comes to manufacturing, service delivery, or any number of other disciplines, problems will occur. It’s common for businesses to experience issues with product quality, process changes, or scaling their operations. Recurring problems cost businesses money, use up resources, and decrease efficiency. These issues can also frustrate customers, disengage team members, and concern shareholders, so it’s crucial to address them quickly and that is exactly what 8d does.

  In order to resolve issues and drive improvement , it’s important to understand what’s at the core and then be proactive in addressing it. Whether you need to identify the root cause of a problem, take short-term corrective actions, or implement a permanent long-term solution, the 8D method can help. In this article, we explore how, when, and why to use the 8D problem-solving approach.

What is 8D Problem Solving?

8D problem solving is a practical approach to addressing negative issues in business. The ‘8D’ stands for ‘eight disciplines’ which provide a structured framework that project teams can work through. By following the analysis and steps that it outlines, organizations can solve problems that are critical to operations or particularly challenging.

  This model was initially used by the US military during the Second World War. It was known as the ‘Team Oriented Problem Solving’ (TOPS) method which Ford Motors later popularized. The automotive manufacturer refined the process and tools.  It was then renamed to the Eight Disciplines (8D) of Problem Solving. 8D is sometimes confused as a lean six sigma tool but it actually isn’t one. However, 8D can be useful in Kaizen continuous improvement efforts and striving towards lean processes.

Why Use These 8 Disciplines?

The goal of 8D problem solving and 8D methodology is to contain and solve the primary root causes of a problem and state corrective actions for problem solving. 8D provides a framework for undertaking the initial analysis to get the right data and information, pilot testing, and final execution of a solution. Addressing issues in this way is beneficial for a number of reasons;

  •         Containment – the eight disciplines problem-solving approach allows you to first contain the issue at it’s cause so that its negative effects are mitigated.
  •         Root cause analysis (RCA) – it then enables you to identify the core of the problem so that an effective solution can be found and repetitions of the issue are avoided.
  •         Increases successful outcomes – using a proven framework like 8D problem-solving increases the likelihood that an issue will be solved successfully and for the long term.
  •         Efficiency – the 8D model identifies causes that can negatively impact efficiency and productivity so that businesses operate to their fullest potential.
  •         Profitability – removing problems means that operations run more smoothly and there are fewer customer refunds, both of which contribute to greater profitability.

Enabled by PDCA, problem-solving and corrective actions allows companies to execute containment in a collaborative manner. It facilitates the analysis of root causes and the implementation of both corrective and preventative actions. It provides a structured approach that is transparent and enables cross-functional collaboration so that the best possible solution is found.

Who 8D Can Help

Most organizations have problems that need solving, so the 8D methodology is universally applicable. However, there are industries and sectors where this structured approach is particularly useful;

  •         Manufacturing – automotive industry and engineering companies that manufacture products or parts.
  •         Companies looking to scale – as it’s important to iron out any kinks in processes and procedures in the data before scaling (when small problems quickly become magnified).
  •         Medium and large-scale enterprises – those that have scaled, but are still experiencing growing pains.

How to Apply the 8D Disciplines

Applying the 8Ds is a matter of working through the eight disciplines in order. Here’s an overview of those steps and disciplines that form the 8D framework;

  •         D1: Create a team
  •         D2: Describe the problem
  •         D3: Develop a containment plan
  •         D4: Identify and verify root causes
  •         D5: Validate permanent solutions
  •         D6: Define and implement countermeasures or corrective action
  •         D7: Prevention measures
  •         D8: Congratulate the team

Now let’s look at how to apply each of these disciplines in a little more detail.

D1: Create a team

Create a team with people who are members of different functions or disciplines. Having varied backgrounds and experiences will lead to the best quality inputs and most rounded end solutions. It’s recommended to have a team leader and define clear roles for your people so that the team operates smoothly from the start.

D2: Describe the problem

The problem needs to be objectively defined in a way that captures all of the key information. During this analysis, It can be helpful to ask what, who, where, when, how, and how much in order to develop a clear description.  So an important part of 8D is to ask the right questions:  

  •         What – what is happening?
  •         Who – who is being affected?
  •         Where – where is it occurring?
  •         When – when and how frequently is it happening?
  •         How – how does the problem take place?
  •         How much – quantify the impact of the problem

D3: Develop a containment plan

A quick fix is sometimes needed to solve the problem temporarily until a permanent solution can be found. After an initial analysis of the data, it might be necessary to ensure that further people or customers aren’t affected or the problem doesn’t worsen before being resolved with an interim containment strategy. Once you’ve developed an interim containment plan with they hypothetical causes, it can help to free up resources for addressing the main problem.  

D4: Identify and verify root causes

In order to solve a problem successfully, it’s vital to identify all of the root cause elements. If one is missed, then a problem may reoccur in the future despite your improvement efforts. There are several tools that can help you to identify the true root cause of an issue, including the 5 Whys and Fishbone diagrams.

D5: Validate permanent solutions

Once the root causes are understood in the 8D data, the team can begin brainstorming permanent corrections. It’s important to think through all of the options fully to understand whether there are any unwanted implications or possible side-effects. Although one solution should be agreed upon, it can be beneficial to have plan B or C options too.

D6: Define and implement countermeasures or corrective action

Once a solution is identified, it can be implemented. The outcomes and corrective actions should be carefully tracked to ensure the results are as expected. The PDCA (plan-do-check-act) approach is particularly useful in this regard as it allows for small-scale testing before large-scale rollout.

D7: Prevention measures

Solving problems fully means preventing them from occurring in the first place. In addition to corrective actions in the 8D methodology, preventative measures should also be implemented. This may involve reviewing management processes, operating procedures, and training manuals to ensure that best practices are followed.

D8: Congratulate the team

Once the problem is solved, the final step is to congratulate the team. It’s important to recognize their efforts and share their success across the organization. This aids motivation and employee engagement, while encouraging others to also be proactive in addressing root causes with corrective actions.

It’s often helpful to use a digital tool for managing and executing 8D problem solving. This streamlines the entire process of project management and result tracking. Lean manufacturing software like Rever makes the problem-solving process quicker and easier by consolidating information, communication, and implementation into one handy tool. It can help you improve quality control, execute process improvements, and aid change management as you grow.

Your 8D Problem Solving & Continuous Improvement Tool

Rever’s innovative software is all about sharing and reusing, doing, and tracking. Continuous improvement becomes a hundred times easier with our innovative digital tools that support 8D. Using Rever’s dashboard, you can monitor the performances of your teams, the summary of their impact, and easily identify the people making the biggest difference at your company.

Rever Cycle is our version of the 8D methodology and guides your teams on corrective action with the exact steps to follow to execute their own ideas. Our platform leverages the 8 disciplines, causing teams to capture the entire process, from identifying a problem at it’s cause to experimenting and implementing a data-driven corrective action. They can use it to capture the before and after with pictures, notes and drawings, making their ideas a reality in no time. The time of your team is too valuable to be wasted in handmade drawings and complex explanations.

At Rever, we believe that anybody can be a knowledge worker and thrive. What makes us human is the capacity to grow our intellect and will, and to use them for good. We observe, especially at work, that most people are asked to stop thinking and do as they are told. We want to change that. We enable people to achieve their full creative potential with all the right tools.

Would you like to learn more about 8D problem solving software and how your company can benefit? Then get a demo today with one of our friendly continuous improvement experts.

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Step-By-Step Guidelines on The 8D Problem Solving Process

This is the first page in a free training on the 8D Problem Solving Process. Here is an overview of the pages on each of the eight disciplines:

Guidelines on Online Training of 8D

The 8D method, also known as the 8 Dimensions  or 8 Disciplines, describes a process of steps to be taken in order to solve a problem methodically.

The benefit of the method is the complete and thorough approach which enables us to solve current issues, in fact to improve a situation immensely. Depending on the nature of the problem, a team or an individual can work through these steps in order to discover the possibilities in improving any situation.

Importance of an 8D Report

  • The 8D report serves as a checklist as well as a means of tracking improvement measures decided upon, It also ensures that all steps are completed.
  • The 8D report is a basic part of the 8D problem solving methodology and at the end of each step, must be brought up to date. Any documents completed as a result of actions done then become part of the report.
  • Therefore the report mirrors the current status of the problem solving work and is therefore to be seen as a “living document” !
  • The completed documentation can be archived as it is a valuable source of knowledge for the future. With many lessons to be learned from them, they can help solve other problems that may occur later on.
  • Important Aspects to be taken into consideration: The aim of the 8D problem solving process is to increase the likelihood of effectively solving problems in the production and R&D functions.

Insightful Guidelines of doing 8D Problem Solving 

The following is important for the successful completion of the 8D problem solving process:

1. Choose the right team: Ensure that those people with the best knowledge of the processes or topic in question are involved.

2. Accurate description of the problem: They say that the better you describe a problem, the closer you are to the solution. Use questions such as: What is the problem? / What is it not? Where is the problem? / Where is it not? How widespread is the problem? / How far does it not go to (any limits recognizable)?

3. Avoid skipping through steps: Often, due to time constraints, there is an urge to skip through steps. This must always be avoided.

4. Ensure co-operation within the team: remembering the stages of teamwork of Forming, Norming, Storming and Performing and the typical effects each stage has, ensure that all members of the team cooperate fully. Remember too, that people often don’t know how much they know until they actually start exchanging with others.

5. Maintain Momentum: often there is the danger that the team converge to such a degree that they fail to set priorities or fail to have a systematic approach in carrying out the analysis.

6.  Ensure Management Support:  Enlist Managerial support by frequent informing of developments within the process. Be prepared for the pressure from Management (they are under pressure from the customer) as this pressure exerted can often lead to a rushed job and a failed problem solving process. Have a named Champion in management, someone who will champion your needs through especially when more resources are needed.

7. Understand the difference between possible causes and the real cause.  Again, due to time pressures, there is the natural tendency to jump to conclusions that are not founded on scientific fact. In a rush, it can often happen that a possible cause is presumed to be the main cause and the danger lies therein that it may not be. Make sure that you run confirmation tests to avoid this happening.

8.  Implement permanent corrective measures:  As momentum can wane, especially as time progresses and the pressure has lessened, the most important step can often be overlooked. Make sure that the corrective measures are implemented, - and implemented thoroughly!

9. Document Results:  Formulate the successes and document them. Consider completing a “Lessons Learned” document for the benefit of others to gain from at a later stage.

10. Congratulate your Team:  It is important to give credit where credit is due. This motivates! So, with a job well done, don’t forget to congratulate your team!

SUPER,  Free 8D Report Template

Click  HERE  to download a F ree Template for your 8D report.

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8D Problem Solving Process

Home » 8D Problem Solving Process

The 8D problem solving process is team structured, consisting of 8 steps (the ‘8 disciplines’). It is a methodology to find the root cause of a problem, put in an interim fix while a deeper investigation is carried out, and then put in place a permanent solution that prevents the problem from being repeated.

Here’s what the 8D process steps look like:

The Eight ‘8D Problem Solving Process’ Steps

The 8D problem solving process is team structured, consisting of 8 ‘8D steps’ (or disciplines) which are:

1. TEAM: The best team would consist of people who have; specific knowledge of a product or process, time to dedicate to the effort, the skill set to apply to solve the problem, authority to make decisions. Collectively, the team would be ‘the subject matter experts’ on this particular problem. Bear in mind, the team may change for each particular problem being solved.

2. DEFINITION: At this stage, the team starts to understand the problem in more detail. It would include using analytical tools (risk analysis, SWOT analysis…). It is critical the team builds a clear picture of the problem and reports this to the stakeholders so that they have a full understanding of the implications of the problem.

3. INTERIM FIX: Implementation of a short-term fix will stop the problem escalating until a permanent corrective action can be implemented. The main objective here is to stop defective products from reaching the customer or end-user.

4. ROOT CAUSE ANALYSIS: Identifying the root cause of the problem is essential. Ideally, the team can verify the root cause has been found by being able to turn the problem on and off at will. There are a number of tools used during this process such as Brainstorming, Five Whys, FMEA, Fault Tree, Fishbone Diagram, Flowcharts, and Affinity Diagrams to name a few.

5. CORRECTIVE ACTION: Once the root cause has been identified, the team should be able to generate corrective actions that can be tested for verification. Guidelines to consider for implementation are:

  • The solution should be practical
  • The solution should be feasible
  • The solution should be cost-effective
  • The solution should be stable and not fail after implementation

6. VALIDATION AND IMPLEMENTATION OF CORRECTIVE ACTION: A key step is to verify and validate the corrective action/s to ensure the problem is solved without having any other side effects or knock-on effects. Examples of tests that can be utilized in this step are the HALT (highly accelerated life test) or the HASS (highly accelerated stress screening) test.

7. PREVENT RECURRENCE: Here the team are ensuring the problem does not reoccur. They will be updating processes and procedures, training and sharing the knowledge of what they discovered during the process, and ensuring all documentation is up-to-date.

8. TEAM ACKNOWLEDGEMENT: It is important that the team get recognized for their efforts in resolving the problem. This will motivate other staff and potential future team members.

Note: The 8D template has to be adapted in the medical industry, for example. The company needs to add a step (assessing the impact of the countermeasure/s on the safety and effectiveness of the device), as requested by ISO 13485.

How to complete an 8D?

You may also find this video about how to complete an 8D report useful:

The 8D is a type of corrective action plan . We also wrote about why to use a corrective action plan like the 8D report in this post over on QualityInspection.org: Use a Corrective Action Plan after a Failed Inspection

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IMAGES

  1. What is 8D ? 8D CAPA Report

    the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

  2. 8D Problem Solving Process

    the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

  3. The 5 Steps of Problem Solving

    the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

  4. Discusses 8D Problem Solving Details and 8D Reports

    the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

  5. 8D Problem Solving Methodology

    the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

  6. the 8d problem solving process are

    the most important step in the 8d problem solving process is

VIDEO

  1. 8D Problem Solving Tool #training #job #learning #career #course #learn

  2. 8D- Problem-solving

  3. Best Practices in 8D

  4. 8D Supplier Analysis

  5. Eight Discipline Problem Solving Methodology// #8D// #Quality India //#Qualityindia //#Vasudev Singh

  6. 8D

COMMENTS

  1. What is 8D? Eight Disciplines Problem Solving Process

    Articles A Disciplined Approach ( Quality Progress) Nothing causes anxiety for a team quite like the release of a corrective action preventive action (CAPA) system and accompanying eight disciplines (8D) model. Follow this step-by-step explanation of 8D to reassure your team and get results.

  2. 8D Problem Solving Process

    MTCT By the Mind Tools Content Team (Also known as Global 8D Problem Solving) Follow these eight steps to diagnose, treat and eliminate quality problems. RichVintage / © iStockphoto When your company runs into a major problem, you need to address it quickly.

  3. 8D

    A practical understanding of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) Problem solving effort may be adopted into the processes and methods of the organization Improved skills for implementing corrective action Better ability to identify necessary systemic changes and subsequent inputs for change

  4. Eight disciplines problem solving

    Usage Many disciplines are typically involved in the "8Ds" methodology. The tools used can be found in textbooks and reference materials used by quality assurance professionals. For example, an "Is/Is Not" worksheet is a common tool employed at D2, and Ishikawa, or "fishbone," diagrams and "5-why analysis" are common tools employed at step D4.

  5. 8D Process

    Concepts 8D Process Published: November 7, 2018 by Ken Feldman It's easy to feel overwhelmed by the number of different approaches to problem solving. Some of the most common ones are PDCA, DMAIC, A3, 6S, Agile, 5 Whys, fishbone diagrams, and others. In this article, we'll look at the 8D process for problem-solving and process improvement.

  6. Guide: 8D Problem Solving

    Learn Lean Sigma 8D Problem Solving Guide: 8D Problem Solving 8D Problem Solving is a systematic and structured approach used to solve business related problems. It names has been given by the fact there are 8 steps or 8 disciplines that are followed to identify, correct and eliminate recurring problems.

  7. What is 8D? A template for efficient problem-solving

    Summary How you respond when problems arise is one of the most defining qualities of a manager. Luckily, there are tools you can use to master problem-solving. The 8D method of problem-solving combines teamwork and basic statistics to help you reach a logical solution and prevent new issues from arising.

  8. 8D Chess: How to Use The 8 Disciplines for Problem Solving

    How can we make sure that it doesn't happen again? The 8D, or eight disciplines methodology, is a problem solving process - most likely one of the most widely used problem solving processes out there. It is used by many different countries, in many different industries, and many different organizations.

  9. 8D Problem-Solving Process: How To Apply the 8 Disciplines

    1. D0: Prepare and plan Before starting the 8D process, evaluate the problem you're trying to solve. Collect information about the different effects of the problem and the most severe issues that may result from the problem. Keep a checklist of these issues to better work to resolve them, including by deciding what resources you may need.

  10. FAQ: What Is 8D? Eight Disciplines Problem-Solving Explained

    Effective problem solving can help mitigate risks, focus teams and improve processes. The eight disciplines (8D) are a systematic, team-based method of problem-solving that seeks to determine the underlying reasons for the problem and to fix reoccurring issues. Learning the eight disciplines problem-solving process can help you discover ...

  11. The 8D Problem-Solving Method: What It Is And How To Use It

    1. D0: Planning and Preparation- Planning and proper planning is a good start before taking action. The process begins with devising a plan and analyzing the problems the organization wants to solve. In this step, company leaders combine information from different sources and generate ideas.

  12. 8D Problem Solving: A Guide for Businesses

    One of the most powerful and proven problem-solving methodologies is 8D problem solving. 8D stands for eight disciplines, which are a series of steps that guide teams through the process of identifying, analyzing, resolving, and preventing problems. 8D problem solving can help businesses improve their quality, reduce their costs, and enhance ...

  13. 8D Report and template

    The meaning. The 8D Report or 8d corrective action report is a problem-solving approach for product and process improvement. Furthermore, 8D Methodology is used to implement structural long-term solutions to prevent recurring problems. The 8D Report was first used in the automotive industry. During World War II the 8D Method was used in Team ...

  14. The 8D Problem Solving Process

    Public Workshops The 8D Problem Solving Process The 8D (Eight Disciplines) Problem Solving Process is a team-oriented and structured problem-solving methodology that is mainly used to identify, correct, and eliminate recurring problems.

  15. The Basics of Structured Problem-Solving Methodologies: DMAIC & 8D

    DMAIC is best suited for a complex problem, or if the risk is high. 8D is known as the Eight Disciplines of problem-solving. It consists of eight steps to solve difficult, recurring, or critical problems. The methodology consists of problem-solving tools to help you identify, correct, and eliminate the source of problems within your organization.

  16. 8 Diciplines (8D) Problem Solving Process

    It is important to correctly name the problem to be tackled, this allows teams to easily communicate about the problem solving task. ... The last step of the 8D problem solving process is to congratulate the team and publicise success. This generates support for improvement work throughout the entire organization: Sumarise the investigation;

  17. The 8D Problem-Solving Method: What It Is And How To Use It

    This approach offers businesses a systematic and practical procedure to improve their efficiency and adopt corrective measures when necessary. The problem-solving method follows these steps: 1. D0: preparing a plan. The process starts with preparing a plan and evaluating the problem the organisation wants to solve.

  18. What is Eight Disciplines (8D)

    In some organizations, the Eight Disciplines (8D) problem-solving process includes an additional preliminary step known as D0 (Discipline Zero). D0 serves as a preparatory phase before the formal 8D process begins and is crucial for setting the stage for effective problem-solving. The main objective of D0 is to plan and prepare for the 8D process.

  19. Using the 8D Problem Solving Process

    Discipline 1 - Build the Team A good team will have all the necessary resources required to solve the problem and have their time made available to actively engage in the team to solve the problem (example, design engineering, manufacturing engineering, welding expert, materials expert, etc.).

  20. 8D Problem Solving

    8D problem solving is a practical approach to addressing negative issues in business. The '8D' stands for 'eight disciplines' which provide a structured framework that project teams can work through. By following the analysis and steps that it outlines, organizations can solve problems that are critical to operations or particularly ...

  21. PDF 8-d Problem Solving Overview What Is an 8-d?

    8-d steps the following are the 8 basic steps of the 8-d process: 1. team contact initiator • reference information about the and assignee of the 8-d. 2. describe the problem • statement description of the actual concern (problem). also, the source that it came from and severity, or, how bad it is. 3.

  22. What is Problem Solving? Steps, Process & Techniques

    Finding a suitable solution for issues can be accomplished by following the basic four-step problem-solving process and methodology outlined below. Step. Characteristics. 1. Define the problem. Differentiate fact from opinion. Specify underlying causes. Consult each faction involved for information. State the problem specifically.

  23. 8D Problem Solving

    The following is important for the successful completion of the 8D problem solving process: 1. Choose the right team: Ensure that those people with the best knowledge of the processes or topic in question are involved. 2. Accurate description of the problem: They say that the better you describe a problem, the closer you are to the solution.

  24. 8D Problem Solving Process

    The Eight '8D Problem Solving Process' Steps. The 8D problem solving process is team structured, consisting of 8 '8D steps' (or disciplines) which are: 1. TEAM: The best team would consist of people who have; specific knowledge of a product or process, time to dedicate to the effort, the skill set to apply to solve the problem ...

  25. 8D used in quality control in WISA plywood production

    The eight disciplines of problem-solving, 8D, is a systematic tool that helps in quality control and increases transparency to customers. The eight disciplines of problem-solving is a methodology widely used in automotive industry, and it applies to plywood production as well. The structured framework helps teams to identify, locate and fix the ...