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8D : Solving quality problems and improving customer quality




Solving customer quality problems is sometimes a complex task which requires powerful tools such as 8D.


Let’s have a look at 8D content and the key factors for a successful 8D:


1- 8D content


       D1 : Select the work group

Identify customer contact, 8D pilot and the team who will address the problem using 8D methodology.


       D2 : Describe the problem

Understand the problem using the appropriate data for analysis with defective samples on hands, with the help of 5W2H and “IS/IS not”.


       D3 : Protect the customer and analyze the non-detection causes

Prevent any further complaint by the same customer for the same defect by implementing a quality firewall within 24 hours ; and analyze the causes which allowed us to transmit the defect to the customer.



       D4 : Analyze the root causes of occurrence

Identify all potential causes using a 6M Ishikawa diagram, validate some of them and eliminate the rest. Run a 5 Why analysis on the validated causes to find root causes of occurrence.


       D5 : Implement corrective actions to prevent the root causes from re-appearing

Solve the root causes by implementing corrective solutions.



       D6 : Check action effectiveness

Ensure, with measurements, metrics, data sheets and so on, that the problem does not occur anymore. 



       D7 : Implement preventive actions

Modify the process and procedures in order to keep a similar problem from recurring for similar or future customers or products.


       D8 : Close the 8D

The manager checks that teams have rigorously followed the methodology and developed a logical thinking. Write a final report on the basis of the latest observations from the shopfloor (results, 8D effectiveness, lessons learned, etc.) ; congratulate the 8D team.



2- Eight key factors for a successful 8D


       D1 : The problem solving team must include a group of operators concerned by the defect that occurred or that was not detected, as well as the supervisor / shift leader of the area. 

      D2 : Describe the problem from the customer’s point of view and do not only settle for a technical description from the manufacturer’s point of view. Defective parts must absolutely be available for the work group.

       D3 : During the customer containment, do not restrict the actions to be taken to purely technical ones ; also take actions on labor and organization. Do not hesitate to keep the customer informed on a regular basis. The point is to turn a quality problem into an opportunity in order to reinforce the bonds of trust. We should learn from our inability to detect the defect.

       D4 : Do not forget that the objective of D4 is to validate possible causes. To do so, analyses should mainly be carried out on the shopfloor. Methodology tools such as 6M and 5 Why are only useful to direct investigation on the shopfloor. Cause validation is the outcome of a rigorous analysis and a logical thinking, not of assumptions.

      D5 : Be aware that some actions which have been taken on might be out of scope. The facilitator should remain vigilant to ensure that the planned actions will indeed eliminate the validated causes.

         D6 : Check by going on the shopfloor that corrective actions have been carried out and that the defect reduction is visible and sustainable.

        D7 : Preventive actions should include cause treatment related to the company processes and organization (ie systemic causes). Not finding any systemic cause is a sign that analyses have not been carried out in enough detail.

       D8 : At 8D closure, managers should draw lessons learned about the organization that they are responsible for. Key points are to make sure the methodology and logical thinking have been strictly adhered to and congratulate the team.