How can 8D help solve my recurring problem?

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We talk about the 8D methodology, describe situations where we could benefit from it, list each of the 8 Disciplines, and compare it to PDSA and DMAIC.

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8D Method Graphic from Visser

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Download a 1-page summary of 8D, including the stopwatch graphic and a description of each of the disciplines.

The 8D method of problem solving might be the perfect method for our team to use if:

  • we’ve had a reoccurring problem that's noticed later than when it's created
  • the issue is a repeat because it wasn't solved the first time - we need a strategic approach to solve the problem once and for all
  • we need ways to involve stakeholders throughout the project for awareness, to provide focus, and for resources
  • we want to learn from the failure and apply the results to other areas of our organization

8D is a prescriptive, step-by-step method that calls for a team to approach the problem-solving method as a means toward mastering each of its 8 Disciplines (while solving a problem). For that reason, the success of using the 8D methodology is dependent on the team members and the culture within the company that it is used. If your team is growth-minded and your organization supports the team's problem-solving efforts, using 8D could be a good opportunity to grow in quality - for each team member and the business itself.

If you're new to 8D, see this website glossary entry from ASQ: What is 8D? Eight Disciplines Problem Solving Process | ASQ

If you're ready to dive-in, or need a refresher, I recommend this book:

Visser, Chris S.P. 8D problem solving explained: Turning operational failures into knowledge to drive your strategic and competitive advantages, 2nd ed., in2quality, 2018.

Chris Visser also has a website with other downloadable files to help with 8D -​. The templates pictured are from this site.

8D Forms Picture