What is the 8D Problem Solving Process?

The 8 Disciplines Method is a Problem Solving Process that helps Fixing Issues by following 8 Steps.

  • It was created by Ford Motor Company to solve Manufacturing Problems.

 

Its purpose is to offer a Guideline capable of solving the most difficult Problems which anyone can follow.

To do this, it relies on:

  • Finding Root Causes.
  • Taking into account Facts, not assumptions.
  • Differentiate between Short and Long Term Solutions.

 

Its name is an acronym for the 8 Steps (called Disciplines) proposed.

What are the Steps in 8D?

The Steps of the 8D Methodology are:

  • D0. Process Preparation.
  • D1. Team establishment.
  • D2. Problem Description.
  • D3. Interim Containment Actions.
  • D4. Root Cause Definition.
  • D5. Define a Permanent Solution.
  • D6. Implement the Permanent Actions.
  • D7. Prevent Recidivism.
  • D8. Recognize the Team Members.

 

Check our “Planning Templates” Page.

  • There, you’ll find an Open and Free 8D Excel Template.

 

Let’s look at these Steps in more Detail:

D0 Process Preparation

The First Step is to Decide to Start the 8D Process.

  • As it is a long Process, you must commit to developing it properly.

 

In this Step:

  • You Confirm that there is a difficult Issue that needs to be Solved.
  • You check that an 8D Method is Required.
  • You communicate to your boss that you need to start an 8D process.

8D Problem Solving example

D0 Step tends to Start as Follows:

  • You are in a Quality meeting (or similar).
  • Somebody tells you that they have seen a repetitive Defect.
  • You check this Problem.
  • You and your co-workers cannot find an Explanation.
  • You decide to Start an 8D Process.

D1 Team Establishment

In this Stage, you must define the People that will be involved in the Process.

 

When Establishing the Team, you must guarantee that:

  • There is a Promoter.
    • The one who starts the 8D process.
  • There is a Team Leader.
    • It doesn’t have to be the one that Started the Process, necessarily.
  • The Background of each Member is taken into account.
    • To assign the right Tasks to the right Member.
  • The Team has authority to make Decisions.
    • Nobody is preventing them when taking any Action.

8D Problem Solving example

D1 Step tends to be as Follows:

  • You analyze the Problem.
  • You list what Knowledge and Skills are necessary to solve it.
  • You organize a meeting with the most suitable People for it.
  • Together, you define the Roles and Tasks of each Member.
    • Taking Backgrounds into account.

D2 Problem Description

This Stage is probably the most Important.

 

Here, you have to Describe the Issue as well as you can.

  • What exactly occurs?
  • Its frequency.
  • Under which circumstances.
  • Who is involved?
  • Who is detecting it?
  • Does it occur suddenly?

 

A good Description is half a Solution.

8D Problem Solving example

D2 Step tends to be as Follows:

  • The person in charge, collects all the data about the Problem:
    • When it takes place.
    • Where.
    • Who detects it.
    • etc.
  • With all the data, you properly Define what is going on.
    • And, if possible, where it might originate.

D3 Interim Containment Actions

The Next Step is to take the necessary Actions to keep the Problem away from your Clients.

 

To do this, you have to:

  • Define the Containment Actions to be taken.
  • Verify that they Contain the Problem effectively.

8D Problem Solving example

D3 Step tends to be as Follows:

  • You all Localize where this Problem can be detected.
  • You set aside the Products that have this Defect.
  • Someone Fixes manually (if possible) these Defects.
  • You Establish a Verification Inspection at the end of the Manufacturing Line.

D4 Root Cause Definition

This is also a very Important Step.

 

Here you’ll define what is Causing the Problem.

  • The Root Cause.

 

Once identified the Root Cause, you’ll be able to:

  • Improve the Interim Containment Actions taken.
  • Start Defining a Permanent Solution.

 

In our “Root Cause AnalysisPage, we explain the best Methodologies to identify Root Causes.

8D Problem Solving example

D4 Step tends to be as Follows:

  • After a Deep Study, you all suspect what the Root Cause may be.
  • You Check it with Trials and Tests.
  • You Verify that, there is not other Root Cause.
  • You Study in Detail Why it Happens.

D5 Define a Permanent Solution

Once you know the Root Cause you must define a Definitive Action that will Fix this Problem forever.

 

This Action must be a Robust Action such as:

  • A Design Modification.
  • Employment of New Procedures.
  • Employment of New Materials.
  • etc.

8D Problem Solving example

D5 Step tends to be as Follows:

  • After a deep analysis, you all come up with 2 or 3 Solutions.
  • You choose the most Robust, Feasible and Cost effective one.
  • You Estimate How much it will Cost.
    • Sometimes Permanent Actions don’t involve an investment of money.
  • You ask your Boss for approval.

D6 Implement the Permanent Actions

In this Stage, you must implement the Permanent Actions.

  • The actions you defined in the Previous Stage.

 

This also implies:

  • Make sure there are no Problems with the New Actions taken.
    • Sometimes they can cause New unexpected Problems.
  • Remove the Interim Containment Actions.
    • As soon as you Confirm that the Permanent Action works.

8D Problem Solving example

D6 Step tends to be as Follows:

  • Once you have the Permanent Solution ready, you implement it.
    • Warning everyone so that there are no misunderstandings.
  • You check that it really works as expected.
  • You Eliminate the Interim Containment Actions and Inspections.

D7 Prevent Recidivism

In this Stage you should establish new Procedures that will Prevent Similar issues to take place in the future.

 

This Stage is commonly forgotten because the Problem is already solved.

But, just as important as solving it is learning How it happened.

  • And how is possible that nobody realized about it.

 

It is Usually based on:

  • Introducing Quality Checklists.
  • Redesigning certain processes.
    • How the Product is Assembled or Produced.

8D Problem Solving example

D7 Step tends to be as Follows:

  • The Problem is Solved.
  • You are Concerned about similar Problems that may occur in the future.
  • You analyze what went wrong.
    • How nobody realized about this Problem.
  • You adopt New Procedures to Prevent Recidivism.

D8 Recognize the Team Members

This is the final Step.

It consists on Recognizing the Contribution of each Team Member.

 

Even though this Step may seem trivial, it is not.

If people don’t feel like their work and effort have been recognized, they won’t be willing to help next time.

8D Problem Solving example

D8 Step tends to be as Follows:

  • Organize a Meeting to explain How the Problem has been Solved.
    • To let Know the Managers, and in Case other Departments can Learn something about it.
  • Mention the name of the Team Members.
    • Which is good both for their Reputation and Self-esteem.
  • If the Problem was very big, you can go to a Restaurant to celebrate it.
    • The Team Members and your Manager.

8D Presentation

Once this Process has been completed and the Problem has been solved, it is time for a Presentation.

 

The question is:

  • How to Make an 8D Presentation?

 

Following the exact same 8 Steps we have just explained you.

 

Let us give you an important advice after having prepared and presented many 8D Processes:

  • Be Concise.

 

Don’t Prepare a 40-Slide presentation.

  • Prepare 1 Slide per Discipline (or Step).

 

Managers don’t want to hear all the details you’ve found.

  • They want Solutions and feel that their employees can Solve anything.

Summarizing

The 8 Disciplines Method is a Problem Solving Process that helps Fixing Issues by following 8 Steps.

 

Its purpose is to offer a Guideline capable of solving the most difficult Problems.

The 8 Steps proposed are:

  • D0. Process Preparation.
  • D1. Team establishment.
  • D2. Problem Description.
  • D3. Interim Containment Actions.
  • D4. Root Cause Definition.
  • D5. Define a Permanent Solution.
  • D6. Implement the Permanent Actions.
  • D7. Prevent Recidivism.
  • D8. Recognize the Team Members.

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