Action Plan

8D Problem Solving Software

8D (8 Disciplines) Problem Solving Method

8D (8 Disciplines) Problem Solving Method

Solving problems using 8D (8 Disciplines) is a method developed for the US Army in the 1970s, later adapted by the Ford Motor Company for the production usage. Used to solve problems, it is now used by many quality engineers in factories all over the world.

8D is applicable in many areas of the factory's operation, and is particularly suitable for: handling complaints, reducing the amount of waste, mitigating the impact of potentially hazardous situations, as well as any other problems occurring in and around production. The 8D method can also be used in your personal life, but it is not the scope of this study.

Over time, 8D has become a standard in the automotive, assembly and other manufacturing industries that require a detailed structured problem-solving process using a team-based approach.

This extremely simple, yet effective method determines continuous corrective actions based on a statistical analysis of the problem and its source by identifying root causes. 8D, like PDCA, can be implemented cyclically according to the logic of Deming Cycle, especially in the case when it was applied for implementing continuous improvement.

8D Method Steps

Originally an eight-step action plan (hence the name "8D"), it is often supplemented with the so-called step 0, i.e. immediate actions. The steps of the 8D Problem Solving method are as follows:

  1. Immediate actions [0D] - implementation of emergency actions that will be launched as soon as a problem occurs or is identified, e.g. stopping the line, suspending shipments or ordering additional selection.
  2. Forming the team [1D] - determining the competencies necessary to solve the problem and gathering an interdisciplinary team of specialists who look at the problem from different points of view.
  3. Problem identification [2D] - clarifying and understanding the problem and defining its negative impact. You can use one of the tools that help define the problem, for example: 5W2H, 5-Whys or Ishikawa Diagram (Fishbone Diagram).
  4. Temporary corrective actions [3D] - temporary corrective actions that should be carried out to isolate the problem from other areas or customers. These activities focus on the elimination of negative effects, not the root cause of the problem.
  5. Root cause analysis [4D] - activities and analyzes carried out within the entire team, aimed at finding the root cause of the problem. In this step, tools such as 5-Whys or the Ishikawa Diagram (Fishbone Diagram) will be useful even more than in 2D.
  6. Permanent corrective actions [5D] - actions aimed at eliminating the cause of the problem, not just negative effects (symptoms). It is worth implementing one corrective action for one cause at the time. Otherwise, it might be difficult to determine what the real cause of the problem was.
  7. Corrective action verification [6D] - actions related to checking whether the corrective actions have brought the intended effect and whether new problems have arisen in other areas of the factory's operation as a result, both in the short and long term.
  8. Preventive actions [7D] - actions carried out to prevent similar problems in the future. These actions should go beyond the source of the problem and can be applied across the organization, to all areas and to a wider extent.
  9. Summary, conclusions and appreciation [8D] - after completing the activities described previously, make summaries, draw conclusions for the future, and thank the entire team for their commitment and efforts in successfully solving the problem.
8D Method Steps

8D Problem Solving in Action Plan

Action Plan software includes a number of features and resources to successfully apply 8D to factory problem solving.

  • The Action Plan Template Library also includes a template called "8D Problem Solving" that defines a complete 9 step action plan with how to descriptions, assigned responsible people and deadlines for carrying out individual steps.
  • Two views of the implementation of the action plan - tabular view and Gantt - provide many functions to improve work in a multi-departmental team appointed to solve the problem: comments, escalations, official orders or requesting an action transfer are just some of them.
  • As a user, you have at your disposal the Action Plan internet platform and the Action Plan Pulse mobile application. Thanks to this, you can take actions related to solving the problem with the 8D method both from the computer and from the phone.
  • The software includes the so-called "controls" function so that you can schedule the performance verification (step 6D) without pausing the 8D plan run. You can schedule any number of checks for any future date.
  • By using the tagging function of action plans, as well as attaching documentation in the form of XLSX, DOCX, PDF and other files like graphics, you create a knowledge base on the existing problems, causes and solutions. The knowledge gathered in the database will contribute to the efficient solving of problems in the future.
  • Often times, the innovative ideas of team members are a side effect of problem solving brainstorming sessions. Action Plan also includes the Quick Kaizen module for collecting, evaluating and implementing ideas as part of a continuous improvement process.
8D Problem Solving in Action Plan

Applying the 8D method step by step

Below you will find a step-by-step instruction on how to apply the 8D Problem Solving method using the available functions and resources of the Action Plan system. If your organization is not yet an Action Plan customer, do not hesitate to fill out the quick contact form in the bottom right corner of the page and our business customer service department will contact you immediately.

Step 1 - subscribe to the 8D template - As a part of the Action Plan licence you also get access to an extensive knowledge base and many resources. If you decide on the STANDARD or EXPERT license package, then one of the resources will be a premade template Solving the problem with the 8D method. You will find it in the template list, link in the left menu.

Step 2 - use the 8D template - In order to use the template, click the icon, which is marked wih an arrow on the above image. You can also choose the template from the list while creating a new action plan. The template not only provides all the 8D steps - all 9 of them, including the additional step 0, the immediate actions - but also includes additional descriptions, which will help you through the problem solving process.

Step 3 - customize the 8D action plan - The initiated action plan needs to be supplemented with data specific to your organization and the problem currently being solved. Pay special attention to the fields marked with arrows, ie: Subject, Description, Owner and the people responsible for the individual 8D steps. Also adjust the descriptions of individual steps and the planned dates of their implementation.

Step 4 - save the action plan and start the 8D analysis - After filling all the obligatory fileds and adjusting the rest of the parameters, save the action plan by clicking the Save button, marked with the arrow. Now the people responsible for each action will be notified automatically about the actions assigned to them.

Step 5 - create your own 8D template - Step 3 required you to define parameters specific to your organization, most importantly the people responsible for each step. It is very likely, that in your oganization the team of specialists responsible for solving problems is similar each time, if not identical. It would be a good idea then to save the customized action plan as a template. You can do this by choosing the correct option from the left panel (arrows no. 1 and 2). Next, you need to name the template and choose the parameters, that will be saved (arrow no. 3). Finally, save the new template (arrow no. 4), in order to use it in the future and solve problems even faster.

Key benefits of implementing the 8D Problem Solving method using Action Plan software

An organized structure of the action plan is available in just one click - the Action Plan software, in addition to a number of functions ensuring easier and more transparent management of the action plan, also has ready-made templates for action plans, incl. the "Solving the problem using the 8D" template. Thanks to this, you will beable to start the process of solving the problem immediately by clicking on the "Apply template" option.

Instant communication and clearly defined responsibilities - the Action Plan module enforces in its core module the use of a clearly defined structure and strictly assigned responsibilities (1 action - 1 person responsible) which, combined with intelligent email and SMS notifications, as well as access to action plans from the mobile application, makes solving problems using the 8D method efficiently , clearly and with full information flow.

The entered data creates a knowledge base for the future - at the very beginning we wrote about the fact that the 8D method can be used repeatedly and is part of the Deming Cycle. The basis of this type of approach is the use of lessons learned to better define the problem and plan activities in the current cycle. The Action Plan collects all the data and analysis results that are used to build a knowledge base and help in solving future problems.

How to use Action Plan in 3 steps?

Step 1

Click on the link below and fill out a short form in which we will ask you to provide some basic information about your organization.

Step 2

One of our specialists will contact you and arrange an online meeting with you, where you will see how the Action Plan could work in your organization.

Step 3

Based on the information obtained, we will prepare a properly configured Action Plan and make it available for free testing for up to 60 days! During the test period, we will help you use the tool as efficiently as possible.