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8D Problem Solving Report

The 8D Problem Solving Report allows you to solve problems that occur in different areas of your organization in a structured and effective way. Find out how to use it!

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What is the 8D Problem Solving Report?

The 8D Problem Solving Report was created by the US Department of Defense in 1974. The standard that described the 8D procedure was called “Military Standard – Corrective Action and Disposition System for Nonconforming Material”. The standard was officially abolished in 1995. However, the 8D procedure was still used, mainly in the automotive and electronics industries.

Nowadays, the 8D Problem Solving Report is used by companies from almost all industries. The 8D Problem Solving Report is used to identify problems in different areas of business. This may be the area of production, finance, purchasing, logistics, employment or warehousing.

The name of the method refers to the 8 steps whose observance allows to identify the cause of the identified problem and apply effective measures to prevent its recurrence.

The 8D Problem Solving Report has gained its popularity primarily due to the tangible benefits that result from its use in organizations. These benefits can include:

  • Simple and logical procedure structure.
  • Wide range of application.
  • Ability to integrate members of a work team.
  • Identification of areas in the organization requiring optimization.
Employees working with the 8D problem solving method.

8 steps of the 8D Problem Solving Report

1. Working group

Step one is to set up a working group. The working group is chaired by a leader who appoints the other members of the team. The established team should be interdisciplinary. Its members are, for example, quality engineer, technologist, production operator, employee of the purchasing department or maintenance department.

The size and composition of the group depends on the scale and complexity of the analyzed problem. Good practice says that the optimal working group consists of 3 to 8 people.

2. Describing the problem

In step two we describe the problem in detail. Properly described problem includes: described phenomenon, place of detection of the problem and opus of its circumstances and defines the scale of the problem. The problem should be expressed in measurable terms. For example: 3.5% waste, 965 PPM. This will allow you to evaluate the effectiveness of corrective actions in the future.
It is recommended to use the 5W2H method to accurately describe the problem.

3. Implement immediate action

This step is to protect the customer from the consequences of the problem. In practice this translates into 100% control of deliveries to the customer, stopping production or shipment, selection of products, informing employees and the customer about the problem.
Note: Do not forget to check whether a similar problem did not occur in another area of production. Then take immediate action there as well.

4. Defining the root cause

Step four is to find the cause of the problem – the ” root cause”. Team composition is especially important at this stage. Looking at the problem from different points of view gives a better chance of successfully solving the problem.
At this stage problem solving tools such as brainstorming, 5Why, Ishikawa diagram are also used.

Examples of root causes of the problem are:

  • Lack of proper tools for the job.
  • Inadequate raw material or material.
  • Lack of operator training.
  • Poor machine settings.
  • Overtime work and fatigue.
  • Unsuitable working conditions (e.g. poor lighting, inadequate room temperature, flying insects).

5. Implementation of corrective actions

In step five, we assign at least one corrective action to each identified root cause. The goal is to eliminate the root cause of the problem. The working group, headed by a leader, decides on the actions to be implemented.

6. Verification of corrective actions

At this stage, we verify whether the corrective actions are effective. How? By comparing the problem indicator determined in step two with the current result.

7. Preventive actions

In step seven, the working group considers what to do to prevent the same problem from occurring in the future. Changes occur in this step, such as:

  • Modifying or adding appropriate tooling to the job.
  • Changing the supplier of raw materials or supplies.
  • Requiring job training for operators.
  • Changing machine settings.
  • Changing the work system and regulating overtime work.
  • Improving working conditions (e.g. additional lighting, air conditioning, installation of insecticide bugs).

8. Summary

The final stage involves evaluating the effectiveness of the preventive measures introduced. The working group is also tasked with drawing up a report (for example, in the form of a Lesson Learned Card) and drawing lessons for the future.

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