8D: Eight Steps to solve problems

What is 8D? Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving

The 8 disciplines to solve problems is a tool methodology focused in give us eigth generic steps to identify and solve most of the relevant problems that can occur more frequently in companies. 8D proposes eigth sequential steps that we should follow to solve successfully any problem.

This method is also called Troubleshooting 8-D, Global 8D or G8D.


What are the 8 steps?

The steps proposed to the solve a relevant problem in companies are the followings:

1: Create an expert people team. Relevant problems have to be solved by people who know the activities and the know-how of the company, it would be interesting to create a group with the people who have enough experience in the activity which we want to study. These people will have to take care of the responsibility and they have to be able to propose and implement the correct solutions.

2: Define the problem. The next step is to obtain a  detailed description of the problem. For this, you can use other quality tools as The 5 Whys (what, when, who, where and how).

3: Implement provisional containment actions. If the problem is really serious, before implementing the definitive solution (which can take several days), is proposed to implement temporary quick fixes to avoid getting the situation worse.

4: Identify the cause of the incidence. We will have to find out the initial cause of the problem (the source). To get the real cause we can use several specific quality tools that you can find on this page.

5: Determine permanent corrective actions (PCAs). Previously we have implemented provisional actions to prevent a similar problem from arising again, now that we know the source of the incidence, we have to find corrective actions to remove the cause of the problem. This stage can be long, and also is influenced by the resources available of the company.

6: Implement permanent corrective actions. Once defined corrective actions we will have to implement them. We algo have to check that they work properly to ensure that no failure arises again.

7: Prevent similar problems. Now that you know how and where the problem is produced, you can extrapolate these mechanisms to other similar processes, preventing new similar failures.

8: Recognice the team’s work. To finish, it is recommended to compliment or give some reward to the team which have worked to solve the incidence. If this is handled well, it will serve to increase the efficiency of the company and to involve the staff in their tasks.


Result: Less incidences and more efficiency in the activities

The use of 8D method allows to improve products, services and processes, and establishes a standard practice to follow. This tool is very useful because it creates a systematic structure that can be used in almost every kind of problem, non-conformity, incidence or failure. As a consequence, we will be able to optimize the performance of the tasks and most of the future failures will be prevented.

Original Post (in Spanish): http://www.pdcahome.com/las-8d/