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What is 8D and How Does it Help in the Problem-Solving Process?

May 6, 2021

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As Albert Einstein once said, "We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them." That's where 8D comes in! The Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving, also referred to as 8D, is a problem-solving methodology designed to find the root cause. By devising a short-term fix, you ideally implement a long-term solution to prevent recurring problems. It was first developed by the Ford Motor Company in the 1980s, known then as Team Oriented Problem Solving (TOPS), and continues to be used today.  

What Are the Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving in 8D?

8D problem solving is a detailed, team-oriented process to solving critical problems when a product is defective or isn't satisfying your customers. They're categorized into eight elements:

- D0: Plan – Determine the prerequisites to create a plan on how to solve the problem best.  

- D1: Use a team – Select and establish a team with the necessary knowledge and competence needed.

- D2: Define and describe the problem – In quantifiable terms, identify the who, what, when, where, why, how, and how many to specify the problem.

- D3: Develop, implement, and verify an interim containment plant – Define and implement containment actions to isolate any customer's problem.  

- D4: Determine, identify and verify the root causes of the problem – Identify all applicable causes as to why the problem may have occurred, including why the problem wasn't initially noticed. Then, implement some sort of cause-and-effect diagram to map out the causes of an identified problem.  

- D5: Choose and verify permanent corrections (also known as PCs) for problem/nonconformity – Quantitatively confirm that the best way forward will resolve the customer's issues.

- D6: Implement and validate corrective action – Define and implement the best corrective actions (also known as CAs).  

- D7: Take preventive measures – Be sure to modify various systems such as management and operations alongside practices and procedures to prevent future or similar issues.  

- D8: Congratulate your team – Recognition never hurts, and this rewarding system encourages team effort and participation. After all, each team member helped solve the issue.  

Why Should You Apply the Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving?

The 8D Methodology continues to be so popular because it allows engineering teams to be consistent, it's easy to learn, and it's a thorough approach to any state of the production process you come across. We asked our CTO, Benjamin Megerle, what are some of the benefits and here's what he believes:

What's the Purpose behind the 8D Methodology?

Generally, we implement the 8D Methodology when facing challenges in producing, developing, and deploying our products. When facing problems, teams tend to rush into action, risking to overlook root causes, immediate containment options, and long-term preventive measures. 8D Methodology puts fast action into a clear and logical sequence of steps leading to better and more sustainable outcomes.  

How Does CyanoGuard Implement the 8D Methodology?

When launching a new product or feature, an 8D core team is formed. The process is reported on our internal collaboration tool, Miro. Using a tool like Miro is pretty crucial since distributed teams are more common than ever, and agile practices are becoming part of every company, no matter their size. 8Ds are time-intensive work but better engages a team in brainstorming, processes, workshops, and decision making allows for closer collaboration and cross-functional work.  

After completing our project, it's essential to come together as a team and celebrate our achievement so that all the hard work is worthwhile. If you’d like to learn more about the CyanoGuard team and how we look, then check out our career page.  


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