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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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
- 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,
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) -
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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
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