The 8D Problem-Solving is utilized in process and product improvement. I made a template for the 8D Problem-Solving. This post shows you the comparison between the 8D Method and DMAIC and explain each step of 8D on the template.
DOWNLOAD ← Click this to download the “8D Problem Solving” template file.
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What’s the 8D Problem-Solving?
Hi, this is Mike Negami, Lean Sigma, Black Belt.
This topic is a request from one of my viewers:
“Please make videos on 8D Problem-Solving procedure and root cause analysis 5w1h.” Thank you, sekhar for your request.
8D’s D stands for ‘discipline’, and this method has become widely used in process and product improvement, especially in the manufacturing industry after Ford began using it companywide.
These above are the steps of the 8D Problem-Solving method. It’s similar to Lean Sigma’s DMAIC, but it’s simply and clearly described so it’s easier to use. It’s suitable when you want to start a problem-solving project immediately.
Compared to DMAIC, up to D2 is the Define Phase. In 8D, there is no content of the Measure Phase. It’s good for improvement projects of service operations which don’t use the Measure Phase much. D3 is “Conduct Interim Containment Actions.”. This content is not included in DMAIC. D4 has the same purpose as the Analysis Phase. Up to D6 is the Improve Phase and the rest are the Control Phase.
Explanation of each step of 8D Problem-Solving Method
Some of you may have noticed that since there are D0 to D8, that is 9 steps, so it should be 9D. This is because “D0: Prepare and Plan for the 8D” was added later. Preparation and planning are always important.
I made a template for this 8D Problem-Solving method. Let’s see each item of 8D on the template.
“D0: Prepare and Plan for the 8D.”
The first step is “D0: Prepare and Plan for the 8D.” Answer “Why did this project need to start?” If you write this answer down, you can start again from that point when you get stuck somewhere in the project.
Also, please write drafts for steps D1 and D2 here. In addition, write a rough plan on how to carry out this project and conduct necessary preparations.
“D1: Form a Team.”
Next is “D1: Form a Team.” Write the team leader’s and team members’ names here. They are responsible to attend when there is a meeting. SME, Subject Matter Experts are those who have knowledge and experience necessary to solve the problem so they will become advisers. Then, gather the project team members who were selected.
“D2: Describe the Problem.”
Next is “D2: Describe the Problem.” Please don’t write people’s opinions here, just write the facts and information based on data if possible.
5W2H questions that clarify a problem
At this time, 5W2H questions are useful, such as: Who is affected by the problem? What is the problem? When did the problem start, and any other time-related information? Where did it happen, and any other location-related information? Why does this happen?
How, and in what situations does the problem occur? How many, or what is the scale and other quantitative information? Please write these answers here. The problems will become quite clear.
“D3: Conduct Interim Containment Actions.”
“D3: Conduct Interim Containment Actions.” In this stage, we’ll look into the issues to see if any important stakeholders, especially our customers, are getting negatively impacted by the problem. If so, we have to deal with that quickly to eliminate it or minimize it. Please write what you’ll do here and execute it.
However, this is a temporary solution, so discontinue this solution later when the permanent solution is implemented.
“D4: Identify the Root Cause.”
“D4: Identify the Root Cause.” With surface solutions, the problem will reoccur over time. Be sure to find the root cause and always deal with it.
There are a few useful tools for this stage. It’s effective to make a Value Stream Map and conduct the 7-Waste analysis. Using the Ishikawa Diagram and 5-Why Analysis is very common practice for this purpose. There are articles and templates about these tools. Please utilize them.
“D5: Develop Permanent Corrective Actions.”
“D5: Develop Permanent Corrective Actions.” Since you’ve found the root cause, solutions will come up naturally. Write them here.
Effective tools in this step are Brainstorming, the 5-How Analysis, FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis), and so on. In the near future, I’ll make a video about the FMEA and the Control Plan tool.
“D6: Implement and Validate the Permanent Corrective Actions.”
“D6: Implement and Validate the Permanent Corrective Actions.” In order to transform the current situation to a permanently solved situation, we’ll make and execute a transition plan with the Control Plan tool.
In this stage, having good communication with stakeholders is the key to success, and validate that this solution solved the target problem. Usually, you’ll repeat from D4 to D6 until the problem is solved.
“D7: Take Preventive Measures.”
Next is “D7: Take Preventive Measures.” Consider why this problem could not be prevented beforehand in the current system, and make a preventive action plan and execute it. Also review the upstream or downstream processes and create a situation where similar problems can not physically occur in the future.
“D8: Close and Congratulate the Team.”
The last step is “D8: Close and Congratulate the Team.” Summarize all project materials and lessons learned, in order for other project teams in the company to refer to or reuse them.
Lastly, publicly recognize the project team for their efforts and success. This will not only motivate them, but also motivate other employees and the entire company.
Once you complete this 8D template, it gives a big picture of the project. You can give this to your stakeholders and use it as the final report.
This is the end of the explanation. Please utilize this template to start problem solving or a process improvement project.