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8D Management & The 8D of Problem Solving

8D Management (8 Disciplines Management)


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8D Management & The 8D of Problem Solving

Problems are a part of life and a business is no exception. Even with the best of intentions and systems, some errors can creep in and be hard to detect at that instance. It may be nothing serious or can have serious repercussions such as reputation damage, heavy fines, product recall, property loss, and so on. It becomes essential to identify the problem, its consequences on the one hand, and causes on the other to be able to not only resolve it for now but also ensure prevention of its recurrence. One of the methodologies, popular amongst engineers and professionals mainly in the automotive industry but now applied across several industries is the eight disciplines (8D) model. It helps to identify, correct, and eliminate recurring problems, affecting improvement in product and process.

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What are the Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)?

The Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D) is a systematic, holistic and proven methodology designed to identify the root cause of a problem, plan a quick fix, and implement corrective actions and preventive actions to avoid their recurrence. If your product is defective or not meeting your customer requirements, then 8D is an excellent first step to improve Quality and Reliability.

8D has become very popular among manufacturers, assembly, and services around the globe because it is effective and comparatively easy to teach.

Why Apply Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D methodology, developed to represent the best practices in problem-solving, provides the engineering teams with an effective and efficient team-oriented problem-solving skill, a better understanding of Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and how to use basic statistical tools required for problem-solving, and helps the management understand and resolve problems better, identify necessary systemic changes and inputs for change, and facilitate a more candid and open communication in problem-solving discussions.

8D improves the Quality and Reliability of your products, and if performed correctly, prepares the engineering team for future problems.

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    Applying Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D) for Major Problems

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

    The 8D problem-solving process is used to solve major, critical, chronic, and recurring problems. The 8D is typically required during safety or regulatory issues, customer complaints, warranty concerns, poor performance or test failures, internal rejects, and to minimize waste and scrap.

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

    The 8D is a systematic process for the introduction and improvement of quality, and elimination of problems. Here we will show you the step by step approach of the problem-solving tools that can make you proficient at identifying causes of problems, defining problems, and errors. Additionally, it helps identify root causes and take actions to solve and prevent identified problems in processes. So, let’s take a peep inside:

    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving
      D0: Planning and preparing for the 8D
      Proper planning and preparation are always a good start before taking any action. So, you need to consider the following before forming a team:

      • Problem description
      • Timeframe for the resolution
      • The number of resources to accomplish this
    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving : 1
      D1: Team establishment
      Create a team with people who are having varied backgrounds and experiences which will lead to the best quality inputs and a complete solution. For the team to function smoothly, define clear roles, and responsibilities for your people, and have a team leader.
    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving : 2
      D2: Problem description
      The 8D method’s primary focus is to describe the problem appropriately and objectively such that it captures all the vital information. During this analysis, repeated 5W1H (why, what, who, where, when, and how) are required to be asked to develop a clear description.
    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving : 3
      D3: Problem containment plan
      A temporary problem containment plan is sometimes needed to minimize the impact of the problem until you develop permanent solutions. On developing the plan based on the hypothetical cases, the resources for addressing the main problem can be released. At times, new processes may be required to work around the problem until you have a permanent fix.
    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving : 4
      D4: Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
      With the problem temporarily contained, you can now turn to identify all of the root causes of the nonconformance. There are several tools to identify the actual root cause of an issue including the 5W1H to understand the problem in-depth, Fishbone diagrams to visually categorize causes, and Pareto charts to identify the vital causes.
    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving : 5
      D5: Permanent Corrective Action
      Once the root cause of the problem is determined, the team can start brainstorming permanent corrections to identify what the best long-term solution will be. Brainstorming sessions combined with tools such as affinity diagrams help organize ideas based on their relationships and determine the best course of action.
    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving : 6
      D6: Implement and Validate the Permanent Corrective Action
      Once the solution is identified, the management needs to implement and verify the corrective action using the PDCA (plan-do-check-act) approach for small-scale testing before large-scale rollout. Thus, the outcomes and corrective actions are tracked to ensure expected results. To successfully implement a permanent change, a project plan should incorporate:

      • Development of the project plan for implementation
      • Communicating the plan to all stakeholders
      • Validating improvements using measurement
    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving : 7
      D7: Prevent Recurrence
      A complete solution of problems means preventing them from occurring initially. Besides, preventative measures should also be implemented for corrective actions in the 8D methodology. This requires reviewing management processes, operating procedures, and training manuals to ensure that best practices are followed.

      At this stage, organizations should consider actions including updating process audit questions and regularly verifying them based on corrective actions to reduce risk in other processes, presenting poka-yoke or error-proofing devices to big-risk processes, and conducting red rabbit tests to see how long it takes poka-yoke devices to detect defective product.

    • Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving : 8
      D8: Verification and Team Celebration
      Once the problem is solved, the ultimate step is to congratulate the team. It’s important to recognize their efforts and share their success across the organization because teams require feedback to allow for satisfactory closure. This facilitates motivation and employee engagement while helping you improve quality control, execute process improvements, and aid change management as you grow.

    8D and Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

    Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is embedded within the 8D process and includes the following steps and techniques:

    • 8D and Root Cause Analysis : 1
      Problem Symptom is measured and transformed to “Object and Defect”
    • ISO 9001
      Problem Symptom is reformed to Problem Statement using the 5W1H process
    • 8D and Root Cause Analysis : 2
      Potential Causes are gathered using the tools like Fishbone or Affinity Diagram
    • 8D and Root Cause Analysis : 3
      Problem Statement should fit using both the “is” and the “isn’t” sections of the question
    • 8D and Root Cause Analysis : 4
      Root Cause concepts are developed from remaining possible causes on the tool and related changes from is/is not
    • 8D and Root Cause Analysis : 5
      Compare theories with recent data and develop experiments for Root Cause Verification
    • 8D and Root Cause Analysis : 6
      Test and confirm the Root Causes

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    8D and Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

    Root Cause Analysis (RCA) is embedded within the 8D process and includes the following steps and techniques:

    • Problem Symptom is measured and transformed to “Object and Defect”
    • Problem Symptom is reformed to Problem Statement using the 5W1H process
    • Potential Causes are gathered using the tools like Fishbone or Affinity Diagram
    • Problem Statement should fit using both the “is” and the “isn’t” sections of the question
    • Root Cause concepts are developed from remaining possible causes on the tool and related changes from is/is not
    • Compare theories with recent data and develop experiments for Root Cause Verification
    • Test and confirm the Root Causes

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    How to use the 8D Approach?

    8D portrays 8 steps of a structured approach to solve difficult, recurring, or critical problems by providing transparency, driving a team approach, and increasing the chances of solving the problem.

     

    • 8D Approach : 00
      Plan: Proper plan for solving the problem and identify the prerequisites.
    • 8D Approach : 01
      Team creation: Gather a cross-functional team with product/process knowledge.
    • 8D Approach : 02
      Problem description and definition: Use the data and information to specify the problem by identifying in quantifiable terms the who, what, where, when, why, how, and how many (the 5W1H) for the problem.
    • 8D Approach : 03
      Problem Containment Plan development: Develop and implement interim actions to eliminate the problem from any customer in the future.
    • 8D Approach : 04
      Specify and assess Root Causes: Identify and review all relevant causes and sources of variation that analyze why the problem has occurred and figure out why the problem was not noticed at first using 5W1H or diagrams.
    • 8D Approach : 05
      Verify Permanent Solutions: After collecting data confirm that the possible solutions will actually resolve the problem.
    • 8D Approach : 06
      Implement and Validate Corrective Actions: Discuss and review results and develop plans to implement the best solutions or countermeasures.
    • 8D Approach : 07
      Preventive measures: Transform the operation systems, management systems, procedures, and practices to avoid the recurrence of similar problems.
    • 8D Approach : 08
      Compliment your team: Recognize the collective efforts of your team and formally thank them for their involvement.

    8D Problem-Solving Report

    8D problem-solving reports and templates are useful tools to initiate a problem-solving process. These reports are used to explain what 8D is and including information about each step so that one will know what needs to be done by attempting this to solve problems. Keeping these reports easily available can avoid repeating work on the same problems over and over again.

    8D reports must be detailed and incorporate information at every step within the 8D process. Those who are working on the problem should provide sufficient information when completing a report so that someone who was not on the current 8D team can pull it out and understand what the problem was and what solutions were implemented.

    Who Can 8D Help?

    The 8D methodology is universally applicable for every organization that needs solving. Although, there are a few industries and sectors where this 8D approach is successfully used such as manufacturing, the automotive idustry, engineering companies that manufacture products or parts, and medium and large-scale enterprises.

     

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    Frequently Asked Questions

    What are the benefits of the 8D Problem-solving process?
    The 8D methodology is often used since it provides a consistent, simple, and thorough approach to solving raised problems at various stages. If properly applied, it gives several advantages such as

    • A systematic approach for improving team-oriented problem-solving skills
    • A clear understanding of basic statistical tools needed for problem-solving
    • A practical understanding of the ‘root cause analysis’ tool
    • Creating and expanding relative information about past failures and lessons learned to avoid future problems in the organization
    • Improving skills for corrective action deployment
    Why is interim containment necessary?
    When the team is trying to find the root cause of the problem and deploy corrective actions, some defective products will continue to be manufactured. To prevent these defective parts from reaching the customer, interim containment ensures that the defects are contained in the facility till the problem is completely solved. If defective parts reach the customer, it may result in warranty claims, field failures, and customer complaints.
    What are the critical success factors that really matter for the 8D process?
    To implement the 8D process successfully, the following factors are crucial:

    • The right team
    • An accurate description of the problem
    • Avoiding skipping through steps
    • Ensuring cooperation within the team and management support
    • Understanding the difference between real causes and possible causes

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