8D Problem Solving Approach - Explained

What is the 8D Problem Solving Approach?

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.

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.