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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8D Problem Solving Approach - Explained

What is the 8D Problem Solving Approach?

ford 8d problem solving

Written by Jason Gordon

Updated at August 22nd, 2023

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What is the 8D Problem Solving Method? 

The 8D Problem Solving (Eight Disciplines) approach, also known as Ford 8D, Global 8D, or TOPS 8D, and create by Ford Motor Company, is a problem solving (process improvement) method that seeks to identify, correct and eliminate the recurrence of quality problems. 

The 8 Discipline approach 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. 

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How Does the 8D Process Work?

The following are steps in the 8D Approach:

  • 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. 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.

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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)

ford 8d problem solving

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

ford 8d problem solving

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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8D Methodology

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--> 03 February, 2023 4 MINUTE READ

ford 8d problem solving

The 8D methodology (8D=eight disciplines) was developed in Ford Motor Company in the mid-1980s to be used by their suppliers to improve the resolution of problems. It appears in a variety of forms used to define eight disciplines. Sometimes it is defined as a nine-step problem-solving process. Because the 8D model is designed to solve specific problems that arise, more emphasis is placed on containing the problem (discipline 3) than in most other frameworks. The idea is to implement intermediate actions that will protect the customer from the problem until a permanent solution can be developed and implemented.

The Eight Steps of the 8D Methodology

The 8D Methodology was originally composed of eight "disciplines" or steps. In the 1980's Ford added a ninth discipline, planning, but the name "8D" was retained. The disciplines are:

  • D1 Put Together A Team

D2  Define the Problem

D3  implement a temporary fix.

  • D4  Identify Root Causes and Chose a Solution
  • D5  Confirm The Solution Resolves The Problem
  • D6  Fully Implement the Solution

D7  Prevent Recurrence

  • D8  Recognize the Team

The 8D Methodology is based on the PDCA Cycle (Plan, Do, Check, Act). Each step in PDCA roughly corresponds to two steps in 8D Methodology:

  • Plan  Define a problem and hypothesize possible causes and solutions (8D steps D0-D2).
  • Do  Implement a solution (8D steps D3-D4).
  • Check  Evaluate the results (8D steps D5-D6).
  • Act  Either return to the planning step, or standardize the solution, depending on the results (8D steps D7-D8).

How Does the 8D Methodology Work?

The strength of the 8D Methodology is its ability to identify, correct, and permanently eliminate recurring problems in an ongoing system, by applying a quick fix and then addressing the root cause of the problem.

D0  Plan

The 8D Methodology often starts with a customer complaint about a problem with a product. In some cases a problem may be identified by management, or production workers. However the problem is first identified, the first step is to establish an initial plan. The plan includes a report on the problem, with an initial evaluation of its scope. This plan forms the basis for defining a team, identifying needed resources, and establishing a schedule for resolution.

D1  Put Together a Team

The team should be multidisciplinary, and include expertise in the product, process, or equipment being investigated. In the case of a problem with a product, understanding the customer's needs is critical, and having a representative from marketing or even a customer on the team is helpful. When processes and staff need to shift, it may be helpful to have an HR representative on the team.

The team's first task will be to write a purpose statement. This written document defines why the team exists, and what it is supposed to do. Having the team discuss this and create the document in their first meeting helps to get everyone on the same page.

What, specifically, is going wrong? The problem needs to be defined using quantifiable terms. The customer's complaint may be, "This product doesn't work!" How is it not working? Defining the problem may require establishing test methods and collecting data, interviewing customers, or talking with the workers who are involved with making the product.

"Gemba" is an important principle to apply when defining the problem. Gemba means to go to the physical location where the problem is - the real place - and look for yourself. The objective is to get first-hand information.

At this point, the team is not looking for the cause of the problem, or "where it comes from;" instead, they are collecting as much information as possible to determine the characteristics of the problem, or "what it is."

If the problem is affecting customers, impacting productivity or costs, or is creating an injury, health, or environmental hazard, it needs to be addressed immediately. A temporary fix should be identified, evaluated, and implemented. These fixes may involve reworking the product, adding additional quality checks, or inspecting and sorting incoming parts from your suppliers.

If no temporary fix is feasible, it will be necessary to stop shipping the project or to shut down the process that has the problem.

Do not implement a temporary fix without an evaluation. The team needs to be sure the temporary fix is safe, will truly address the current problem, and is easy and cost effective to implement - without causing new problems of its own.

D4  Identify Root Causes

With the temporary fix in place, the next step is to identify the root cause of the problem. The overall goal of the 8D Methodology is to permanently eliminate the problem. That can only be done if the root cause is identified and eliminated.

Techniques such as the "Five Whys" can be used to identify the root cause. This approach involves asking the question "Why?" over and over (often five times) until the root cause is revealed. Other methods, such as fish-bone diagrams, Parento Analysis, or Fault Tree Analysis are also available to help identify the root cause. However the root cause is identified, the team should then decide how to eliminate it.

D5  Confirm the Solution Resolves The Problem

One of the best ways to test a solution is to implement it in a small way, and monitor what happens. For example, if a manufacturing process involves a number of cells, the solution can be implemented in one cell and the results monitored. If it is successful in the one cell, it can then be implemented in all cells. If the solution cannot be tested in a small way, then techniques such as Failure Mode and Effect Analysis can be used to analyze proposed changes to a system or product.

The team needs to be careful to ensure they have not missed something. Conducting a Blind Spot Analysis can be useful for identifying things that have been overlooked. Look for unintended consequences and negative side-effects that may result from implementing the solution.

D6 Fully Implement the Solution

Once the solution has been verified - it will eliminate the root cause without starting new problems - it can be fully implemented by making permanent changes.

Once changes have been made, steps need to be taken to ensure those changes remain in effect, and that any new procedures continue to be followed. This usually involves incorporating the changes in written standards. Training may be required to bring people up to speed on new methods, procedures, and standards.

D8 Recognize the Team

Recognizing the accomplishments of the team is the final step. It can be a simple "thank you," but it should be done in a way such that others in your organization hear about what has been done. A common way to say thank you is with an article in the company newsletter, or with a poster placed on bulletin boards throughout the facility. Be sure that everyone on the team is named so that everyone is recognized for being a part of the team.


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Table of contents

Lean 8d (eight disciplines of problem solving), eight disciplines for problem solving, the lean 8d problem solving format, when to use the eight disciplines for problem solving, what is the application, discipline 1: form a team, discipline 2: describe your problem, discipline 3: interim containment action, discipline 4: root cause analysis and escape point, discipline 5: permanent corrective actions, discipline 6: validate and implement the permanent corrective action, discipline 7: prevent recurrence, discipline 8: closure & team celebration, lean 8d and root cause analysis, in conclusion, related articles.

8D 8D Meaning (or Eight disciplines problem solving) is a metho... Learn More... (or Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving 8D Meaning (or Eight disciplines problem solving) is a metho... Learn More... ) is a methodology for solving problems that aims to identify the root cause of the problem and provide a solution. 8D is a great first step in improving quality and reliability.

Ford Motor Company created this problem-solving method, which was then called Team Oriented Problem Solving. (TOPS) in the 1980s. Ford adopted 8D in the 1980s as it’s primary method for documenting problem solving efforts.

8D is a popular choice among manufacturers due to its effectiveness and ease of learning. Here are the benefits of 8D, how to use it, and when it is appropriate.

The LEAN LEAN Definition LEAN is a production method aimed primarily ... Learn More... 8D Problem Solving Process There are many ways to organize your lean six sigma processe... is a team-oriented, detailed approach to solving production problems. This method aims to identify the root cause of the problem, create containment measures to protect customers, and take corrective actions to prevent future problems.

Structure, discipline, and methodology are the keys to the success of 8D. It employs a combination of best practices from different approaches. It’s a problem-solving method that improves the entire process to avoid other problems that could arise from systemic failures.

LEAN 8D is a popular method for solving problems in Manufacturing, Assembly and Services all over the world. Continue reading to find out why the Eight Disciplines 8D Meaning (or Eight disciplines problem solving) is a metho... Learn More... of Problem Solving might be a good fit in your company.

Why the 8D (Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving)? Because it provides an easy-to-learn, consistent and thorough approach for solving any problems that may arise in various stages of your production process. If you apply the 8D methodology correctly, you will reap the following benefits:

  • An understanding of Root Cause Analysis
  • The organization may incorporate problem-solving efforts into its processes and methods.
  • Skills for corrective action Corrective action (also known as a Corrective Action Plan (C... Learn More... implementation
  • Improved ability to recognize systemic changes that are needed, and the subsequent inputs required for change
  • Increased effectiveness through more open and honest communication during problem-solving discussions
  • Better team-oriented problem-solving skills than individual reliance
  • Management’s ability to better understand and solve problems.
  • To prevent future problems, it is important to create and expand a database of past failures.
  • Accuracy In a set of measurements, accuracy is closeness of... Learn More... with the structure of problem-solving
  • Increased efficiency and effectiveness in problem-solving
  • A better understanding of basic statistical tools is required to solve problems.

LEAN 8D was designed to be the best practice in problem-solving. This methodology can improve the quality and reliability of your products, as well as prepare your engineering team for future challenges.

The 8D problem-solving process is usually required when:

  • Resolving customer complaints
  • Safety and regulatory issues have been identified
  • Unacceptable levels of internal rejections, waste Muda (無駄, on'yomi reading) is a ... Learn More... , or scrap are common
  • Warranty Concerns have indicated greater-than-expected failure rates

To continuously move toward a solution, the 8D process uses both inductive and deductive problem-solving methods. Quality-One uses a core group of three people for inductive activities using data-driven tools, and then a larger Subject Matter Experts (SME) group to deduce activities through brainstorming Define Brainstorming Imagine that you are faced with a task ... Learn More... data-gathering, and experiments.

Plan and Prepare for the 8D

Planning will always lead to a better start. It is always a good idea for experts to give their opinions before the 8D analysis starts. Before forming a team, it is important to receive feedback and gather information about the symptoms.

ford 8d problem solving

Teams require proper preparation. It is crucial to establish the ground rules. For steady progress, it is important to implement procedures like forms and checklists. Two key members of 8D are a Leader or Champion A Champion in a Six Sigma initiative is the executive sponso... Learn More... /Sponsor.

  • The Champion, or Sponsor, is the only person who can effect It's the change in the average value of the output caused by... Learn More... change by agreeing to the findings and can give final approval for such changes
  • The leader is someone who understands the 8D process and can guide the team (although they may not be the most knowledgeable about the problem being investigated).

Cross-Functionals Functional Teams (CFTs) are made up of members from different disciplines. Quality-One goes one step further with two levels of CFT.

  • Other Subject Matter Experts may be brought in at different times to help with data collection Data Collection Plan A data collection plan outlines how dat... Learn More... , analysis, brainstorming, and data collection
  • Three people should be part of the Core Team Structure for each subject: data, process, and product.

The LEAN 8D method is designed to accurately describe the problem using the existing data. It also places it in specific categories that can be used for future comparisons. The “Is” data supports facts, while the “Is Not” data doesn’t. Many potential causes for failure can be eliminated by collecting the “Is Not” data. 

An interim corrective action can be taken to protect customers before permanent corrective actions are determined. The Interim Correct Action, which is temporary, is usually removed once the Permanent Correct Action is taken.

To take effective action to eradicate it, the root cause must first be identified. It must be possible to turn it on and off at will. D4 includes the following activities:

  • Based on the remaining items, the development of Root Cause Theories
  • Comparative Analysis comparing the differences and changes between “Is” and “Is Not”.
  • Determine the point where the root cause of the problem could be found, but it was not.
  • Refer to Process Flow Diagram A process flow diagram (PFD) is a diagram commonly... Learn More... to locate the root cause
  • Data collection is used to verify the root cause

Permanent Corrective Actions focus on the root cause of the problem and change or remove the conditions that caused it. Discipline five includes the following activities:

Proper planning is crucial to ensure that permanent changes are implemented successfully. Communication, steps to be completed, success measurement, and lessons learned should all be part of a project plan. 

Discipline seven allows you to share and preserve knowledge. This helps prevent problems with similar products, processes, or locations. This step is for the improvement of future use. Activities include:

  • Practice and capture standard work
  • System Prevention: Develop/Update Procedures and Work Instructions
  • For problem prevention, review similar products and processes
  • Updated Assure Control Plans
  • Verify that FMEA updates are complete

For satisfactory closure, teams need feedback. The LEAN 8D process is valuable because it recognizes both individual and team efforts and allows the team to see the new and previous states. D8 activities include:

  • Learnings from the past to improve problem-solving
  • Comparative Analysis of the issue before and after
  • Archive 8D documents for future reference
  • Celebrate a Successful Completion

Root Cause Analysis (RCA), which is embedded within the 8D process, is a part of it. All problem-solving techniques have RCA built into them. These are the steps and techniques that correspond to Root Cause Analysis in 8D:

  • Problem Symptom is quantified, and then converted into “Object and Defect A defect is a physical, functional, or aesthetic attrib... Learn More... .”
  • Problem Symptom can be transformed into Problem Statement by Repeated Whys
  • Deductive tools are used to collect possible and potential causes (i.e. Use the Affinity Diagram Affinity diagrams in Lean Six Sigma are an analytical tool ... Learn More... or Fishbone to find out more)
  • Problem Description is created by converting Problem Statement into Problem Description with Is/Is Not
  • Problem description reduces the number of items on the deductive instrument (from step 3)
  • Comparative Analysis of the Is and Not Items (note changes and times)
  • The Root Cause theories are derived from the remaining causes of the deductive tool, and combined with changes from Is/Is Not
  • Compare current data with theories and create experiments for Root Cause Verification
  • Verify the Root Causes

8D (Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving) offers a more detailed methodology than its counterparts, the DMAIC DMAIC is an abbreviation of the five improvement steps it co... Learn More... model or the PDCA PDCA is a cycle of improvement based on a scientific method.... Learn More... cycle. LEAN 8D, unlike other effective problem-solving methods, allows you to identify the root cause of the problem and develop long-term solutions that won’t impact customers. You could start with 8D by completing a PDCA or DMAIC cycle. Then, build on these concepts and integrate 8D steps into your own work.

  • What is a Six Sigma Green Belt?
  • What is a Six Sigma Control Plan?
  • What is Root Cause Analysis (RCA)?
  • How to Choose a Winning Six Sigma Black Belt Project
  • Guide to Implementing the Third S in 5S Shine

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8D Problem Solving Methodology

ford 8d problem solving

Consumer accountability drives quality and efficiency.” – Pete Hoekstra
  • 8D Problem Solving

Eight disciplines 8D problem-solving methodology was developed in Ford Motor Company which was used to analyze and solve problems, classically employed by quality engineers and other professionals. It is basically focused on product and  process improvement  and its purpose is to recognize, correct, and eradicate recurring problems.

Some sectors where 8D problem-solving methodology is used are healthcare, retail, finance, government, and manufacturing and counting. 8D puts forward eight steps to successfully solve any problem.

Why to use the 8D method?

Frequently asked questions (faqs), key takeaways.

The use of the 8D method allows for improving products, services and processes and also helps establish a standard practice to follow. It creates a systematic structure that can be used in almost every kind of problem, non-conformity, incidence or failure which makes it a very useful tool. Thus helping to optimize the performance of tasks and prevention of future failures.

ford 8d problem solving

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8D’s in Elaboration

The first step is to plan and set the prerequisites.

1. Formation of team-specific problems have to be solved by individuals who know the activities and working of the company. These people will take responsibility and they are more able to propose and implement correct solutions.

Leader’s Tip Foster a culture of open communication and collaboration, encouraging cross-functional teams to work together to solve problems.

2. Define and describe a problem-  The next step is to determine and obtain a detailed description of the problem.

3. Implementing temporary containment measures – In view of the seriousness of the problem, interim solutions are proposed to implement temporary quick fixes to avoid getting the situation worse instead of definitive solutions which can take several days.

4. Determining and analyzing root causes and escape points-  Finding the initial cause of the problem is a must. To get the real cause one can use several specific quality tools.

5. Discovering permanent corrective actions (PCA’s)-  Now that the source of the incidence is found, one has to find corrective actions to remove the cause of the problem. This is a prolonged stage, and also is influenced by the resources available of the company.

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6. Implementation and validation of corrective actions – After finding corrective actions we will have to implement them along with ensuring that they are working as required.

7. Preventing similar problems-  After we know how and where the problem is generated, we can extrapolate this mechanism to other similar processes, preventing new similar failures.

Leader’s Tip Emphasizes the importance of thoroughly documenting and tracking progress throughout the 8D process to ensure accountability and transparency.

8. Appreciating team work-  Complimenting and giving some reward to the team which have worked to solve the incidence is very much appreciated. It will help in increasing the efficiency of the company and to involvement of the staff in their tasks.

What are the 8 steps of an 8D?

  • Formation of a team
  • Define and describe a problem
  • Implementing temporary containment measures
  • Determining and analyzing root causes and escape points
  • Discovering permanent corrective actions (PCA’s)
  • Implementation and validation of corrective actions
  • Preventing of similar problems-
  • Appreciating team work

What does 8D stand for?

Eight disciplines problem solving (8Ds) is a methodology developed in Ford Motor Company which was used to analyze and solve problems, classically employed by quality engineers and other professionals. It is basically focused on product and process improvement and its purpose is to recognize, correct, and eradicate recurring problems.

Is 8D a Six Sigma tool?

The use of 8D Problem Solving method allows improving products, services and processes, and also helps establish a standard practice to follow. It creates a systematic structure that can be used in almost every kind of problem, non-conformity, incidence or failure which makes it a very useful tool.

What is 8D problem solving process?

8D Problem Solving Process is used to analyze and solve problems, classically employed by quality engineers and other professionals. It is basically focused on product and process improvement and its purpose is to recognize, correct, and eradicate recurring problems.

The 8D methodology consists of his eight steps. Assemble the team, describe the problem, implement interim containment, identify root cause, take corrective action, implement permanent solution, prevent recurrence, and congratulate the team. Encourage a systematic and disciplined approach to problem solving that focuses on identifying root causes rather than simply treating symptoms. Effective implementation of the 8D methodology requires strong leadership support, cooperation among team members, and a commitment to continuous improvement and learning from each experience of problem solving. 

A carefully prepared business master, gets an abundance of involvement methodology, money, and tasks. His profound information and bits of knowledge assist organizations with driving development, further develop productivity, and make long haul progress.

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