The team approach works best when the problem as well as its associated information, is complicated and beyond what one member is reasonably capable of knowing.
The 8-D process was designed to work best with special cause problems. However it can also be associated with common cause problems and improvement actions like those associated with a QOS.
Working in a cross-functional team means that each problem solver no longer needs to know all the technical details about how things work. Necessary information is available from a variety of team members.
A team approach to problem solving leads to a common language. This promotes effectiveness, consistency, time savings, and change control.
The problem solving process is used to identify root causes of problems and provide corrective action.
The Eight Disciplines (8-D) comprise a method of resolving a problem when the cause of the problem is unknown.
As a Problem Solving Process, it is a sequence of events which should be followed from the moment a problem or improvement opportunity is evident.
When correctly followed, it helps to facilitate a timely resolution to the Problem.
Establish a small group of people with the process/product knowledge, allocated time, authority, and skill in the required technical disciplines to solve the problem and implement corrective actions. The group must have a designated champion.
Specify the internal/external customer problem by identifying in quantifiable terms the who, what, when, where, why, how, how many(5W2H) for the problem.
Define and implement containment actions to isolate the effect of a problem from any internal/external customer until corrective action is implemented. Verify the effectiveness of the containment action.
Identify all potential causes which would explain why the problem occurred. Isolate and verify the root cause by testing each potential cause against the problem description and test data. Identify alternative corrective actions to eliminate root cause.
Though test programs quantitatively confirm that the selected corrective actions will resolve the problem for the customer, and will not cause undesirable side effects. Define contingency actions, if necessary, based on risk assessment.
Define and implement the best permanent corrective actions. Choose on-going controls to ensure that the root cause is eliminated. Once in effect, monitor the long term impact and implement contingency actions, if necessary.
Modify the management systems, operating systems, practices, and procedures to prevent recurrence of these and any other similar problems.
Recognize the collective efforts of the team and learn from what they did.
A clear, thorough description of the problem is necessary. A problem must be adequately described and the definition must be narrow enough in scope for the team to solve the problem effectively.
Problem solving steps are skipped in order to obtain a quick solution. Conventional wisdom often drives this.
Not all team members participate effectively, so the team fails to consider all possible causes of the problem.
The team lacks a disciplined system for analyzing problems
Team members are not adequately trained.
The management's lack of understanding of the problem solving process makes all levels of management demand to know exactly when a problem will be solved. This pressure often ensues in inadequate analysis.
Sometimes a potential cause is quickly identified as a root cause, and the problem investigation is concluded. However, the problem recurs because the root cause was not eliminated.
A root cause may be identified, but no action is taken to implement a permanent corrective action. Permanent actions often require management to approve the costs and implement the actions.
Help gather information
Help identify the 'vital few' problems from the 'trivial many' problems
Helps one to identify the process to see the interaction between operations.
They transfer the problem definition to the operational definition.
Helps to document the problem into what, when, where , how big.
Helps brainstorm the causes of the problems.
Aids to identify the potential causes.
Help to verify the root cause.
Action Plans are used to track all actions that need to be followed and implemented.
Trend Charts are used to make management presentations and track overall improvements.
8-D Summaries and Paynter Charts are used in management review meetings to track process.
Control charts are used to monitor processes for the occurrence of special cause variation, and to measure common cause variation.
Creativity is the tool that transforms companies from the 'here & now' to the 'future'.
Hindrances to creative thinking are often ingrained in organizational cultures.
Creativity helps break paradigms, taking us from 'what we know' to 'what might be possible'. When we pursue creativity undeterred, we allow ourselves the option of considering all the possibilities.
Creativity is used in steps D4 and D5 of the problem solving process.
Create and Maintain a database of external and internal quality and process problems.
Use the process problems database to identify and select problems or improvement opportunities.