8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines)

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Identify, correct and eliminate the recurrence of quality problems. Explanation of 8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines). (1987)

Contributed by: David Bruce Doane


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8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines)What is the 8D Problem Solving Method? Description

The 8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines) approach can be used to identify, correct and eliminate the recurrence of quality problems. 8D is a problem-solving methodology for product and process improvement. It is structured into eight disciplines, emphasizing team synergy. The team as a whole is believed to be better and smarter than the quality sum of the individuals. 8D is also known as: Global 8D, Ford 8D, or TOPS 8D.

Origin of the Eight Disciplines concept. History

The U.S. Government first used an 8D-like process during the Second World War, referring to it as Military Standard 1520 (Corrective action and disposition system for nonconforming material). Ford Motor Company first documented the 8D method in 1987 in a course manual entitled "Team Oriented Problem Solving". This course was written at the request of senior management of the Power Train organization of the automaker, which was facing growing frustration at the same problems that were recurring year after year.

Usage of the Eight Disciplines Problem Solving approach. Applications

  • Major non-conformances
  • Customer complaints
  • Reoccurring issues
  • Team approach needed

Steps in 8D Problem Solving. Process

D0. Prepare and Create Awareness. First, you need to prepare for 8D. Not every problem warrants/requires an 8D. Also, 8D is a fact-based problem-solving process involving some specialized skills and a culture that favors continuous improvement. There may be some education and training required before 8D will work effectively in an organization.

  • D1. Establish the Team. Assemble a cross-functional team (with an effective team leader) that has the knowledge, time, authority and skill to solve the problem and implement corrective actions. And set the structure, goals, roles, procedures and relationships to establish an effective team.
  • D2. Describe the Problem. Define the problem in measurable terms. Specify the internal or external customer problem by describing it in specific, quantifiable terms: Who, What, When, Where, Why, How, How many (5W2H Analysis).
  • D3. Implement and Verify Interim Containment Actions. Temporary Fixes. Define and implement those intermediate actions that will protect any customer from the problem until permanent corrective action is implemented. Verify the effectiveness of the containment actions with data.
  • D4. Identify and Verify Root Causes. Identify all potential causes that could explain why the problem occurred. Cause and Effect Diagram. Test each potential cause against the problem description and data. Identify alternative corrective actions to eliminate root cause. Note that two parallel types of root causes exist: a Root Cause of Event (the system that allowed for the event to occur), and a Root Cause of Escape / Escape Point (the system that allowed for the event to escape without detection).
  • D5. Choose and Verify Corrective Actions. Confirm that the selected corrective actions will resolve the problem for the customer and will not cause undesirable side effects. Define contingency actions, if necessary, based on the potential severity of the side effects.
  • D6. Implement and Validate Permanent Corrective Actions. Choose ongoing controls to insure the root cause is eliminated. Once in production, monitor the long-term effects and implement additional controls and contingency actions as necessary.
  • D7. Prevent Recurrence. Identify and implement steps that need to be taken to prevent the same or a similar problem from occurring in the future: modify specifications, update training, review workflow, and improve management systems, operating systems, practices and procedures.
  • D8. Congratulate the Team. Recognize the collective efforts of your team. Publicize your achievement. Share your knowledge and learning throughout the organization.

Strengths of the 8D Problem Solving Method. Benefits

  • Effective approach at finding a root cause, developing proper actions to eliminate root causes, and implementing the permanent corrective action.
  • Helps to explore the Control System that allowed the problem to escape. The Escape Point is studied for the purpose of improving the ability of the Control System to detect the failure or cause when and if it should occur again.
  • The Prevention Loop explores the systems that permitted the condition that allowed the Failure and Cause Mechanism to exist in the first place.

Limitations of the 8D Problem Solving framework. Disadvantages

  • 8D training can be time consuming and difficult to develop.
  • Requires training in the 8D problem-solving process as well as data collection and analysis tools such as Pareto diagrams, Fishbone Diagrams, and flowcharts to name just a few.

Book: Rambaud, Laurie. (2006). 8D Structured Problem Solving: A Guide to Creating High Quality 8D Reports (Spiral-bound) -

8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines) Forum (16 topics) Help
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  How Does One Prevent Recurrence of a Problem?
How do you do to prevent recurrence? By making an Efficacy Analysis. Some signs to consider:
- Problem didn't occur again;
- Establish a period of time to do follow-up;
- Perform abrangency analysis....

Add D0 to 8D Problem Solving: Create the Appropriate Culture

There should be a D0 phase added to create the organization culture to initiate this kind of practices, especially in Asian countries....

Difference Between 8D and 6 Sigma? And Commonalities?

What is the relation between 8D and 6 Sigma?...

D6 is Redundant and Add Judgement at D5

If review the chart, we find this may change as,
If verify the corrective action at D5, then D7, else identify possible soluton(red box)....

Should D1 and D2 Be Changed?

You have to describe problem at first, then set up a team....

8D = CLosed Loop Process

This method is well known too as closed loop, a process to search root cause and adopt corrective actions. These corrective actions should generate changes in conducts and methods and be standarized though documented procedures....

8D Problem Solving : D2 Phase (Describing the Problem)

When we are searching for the problem root cause, as far as I know from previous knowledge, we should avoid asking: who?
Because the intention is not to blame people, but to fix the system....

The Key to Intelligent Solving

Pick it up the best team according in profile to the target to be reached.
Analyze the history of the problem 5W2H in depth.
Get yourself started with a first solution option by identifying the causes and roots.
After that come to the ...

Does 8D Problem Solving Work with 3rd Party?

How does one deal with the fault of 3rd party or something which is out of our control - does this apply to 8D as well?...

Why is Structured Problem Solving Taking Too Long?

Is anyone aware of any research that has been conducted on 'Why does problem resolution take longer than desired'? I am trying to find empirical research for my MSc dissertation, unfortunately with little success, so far....

8D Problem Solving Examples

Please share some practical examples of problem solving using 8D... Thanks......

What Is, What is Not

When I took 8D training (2003) I was most impressed with the "What is What is Not" questioning process (in D2. Describing the Problem). It allowed the problem to be viewed from different angles and would illuminate areas that normal thinking or obser...

8D Forms and Programs

Is there any one that can give good reference to programs that handle 8D or web pages there I can get some 8D-forms so I can avoid to find the wheel again....

Using the 5 Whys in 8D

Is there a 5 Whys in 8D? How does it work?...

Is there a 9th D in 8D Problem Solving?

Are there any updates for this method? Is there a 9th D?...

Emergency Response Action (ERA) in Global 8D D0

In Discipline D0 of the Global 8D Process there is also the Emergency Response Action (ERA) which needs to be implemented to protect the Customer against the Symptom. The ERA can be replaced by the Interim Containment Action (ICA)....
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8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines) Special Interest Group

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8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines) Education & Events

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Expert Tips - 8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines) Premium
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Capturing Learned Lessons

How to Capture Organizational Learning? Best Practices

3 Potential Categories of (Root) Causes

Root Cause Analysis, Ishikawa, 8D, TOC

How Can I Improve my Problem Description?

Elements of Problem Description

Resources - 8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines) Premium
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The 8D Problem Solving Process Step by Step In-depth

Problem Solving, 8D-model, 8D Problem Solving

The 8 Disciplines of the 8D Process in Detail. Management Involvement in 8D

Team Problem Solving, 8D-model

First Introduction to 8D Problem Solving and Root Cause Analysis

Initial Understanding of Causes of Problems, Workshops, Trainings

Quality Process Improvement Tools and Techniques by Shoji Shiba

Improvement of Processes, Quality Process Improvement, Reactive Problem Solving

Employee Empowerment, Teamwork and Communication

Performance Management, Employee Empowerment

7 Steps of Problem Solving by Shoji Shiba

Improvement of Processes, Quality Process Improvement, Reactive Problem Solving

8D Problem Solving Diagram

Quality Assurance


Eight Disciplines Method


Eight Disciplines Approach


Eight Disciplines Method


Eight Disciplines Approach


Eight Disciplines Method


Eight Disciplines Approach


Eight Disciplines Method


Eight Disciplines Approach

Compare with 8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines): Root Cause Analysis  |  Total Quality Management  |  Kaizen  |  Six Sigma  |  Deming Cycle  |  Theory of Constraints  |  Cause and Effect Diagram  |  Delphi Method  |  Action Learning

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