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8D Approach: One step closer to Customer's Satisfaction

Published by Kate Apking Kate Apking · Aug 12, 2019
8D Approach: One step closer to Customer's Satisfaction

The 8D Report consists of 8 disciplines that describe corrective measures, which need to be taken to prevent and eliminate recurring problems. Applying 8D methodology can be complex and it is typically required when safety issues, customer complaints, poor performance, high cost, and internal waste occurs at unacceptable levels and rates. 

How to use a structured 8-step process and determine the root cause of the problem?

D1 – Form a team

  • Select a Leader,
  • Create a Team of people, who are competent, knowledgeable, and actively involved in the product/process, 
  • Establish in advance a team structure, individual roles and responsibilities, specific goals and procedures.

These steps help you to coordinate an efficient team that works together and takes actions to solve problem quickly without any setbacks or misunderstandings. 

D2 – Describe the problem

Specify the problem using 5W2H analysis (stands for 5 W’s and 2H’s). This simple management tool helps you to utilize data about a problem by asking 7 questions: 

What: precise description of the problem and what is wrong
Who: everyone that is involved and related to the problem
When: exact moment of occurrence and frequency
Where: all locations of the problem
Why: reasons and explanations contributing to the problem
How: procedure of the problem
How many/much: amount, duration, intensity, cost – measure and scope of the problem

It is also recommended to get a problem description from customer’s point of view. The more specific and easy the problem description is, the more likely it is to be resolved. You can also use other techniques such as Fishbone Diagram, 5 Why, Is / Is Not etc. 

D3 – Implement temporary containment action

In order to protect your customers, define and implement temporary and necessary actions to prevent a problem from getting worse until a permanent solution is determined and initiated.

D4 – Root Cause Analysis and Escape Points

Identify all possible root causes that could explain why the problem occurred. Again various methods can be used such as Fishbone diagram, 5 whys, 4Ms (was the problem caused by a machine, material, man or method) and others to determine root causes. Verify and prove all found causes and data. The key and underlying question is: Why the problem was not noticed at the time it occurred?

D5 – Developing permanent corrective actions

When the problem’s root cause is identified, now it is time to search and choose the best corrective actions. Perform a risk assessment to verify that these selected actions will be the best possible solutions, and plan its implementation.   

D6 – Implementing permanent corrective actions

Implement and validate the corrective actions. Plan ongoing controls. Is the root cause completely removed or any additional measures need to be taken to eliminate it? After full assessment, it might be necessary to repeat the “D4 – D6” cycle.  

D7 – Prevent Recurrence / System Problems

Be proactive and take a preventive measures. Review, develop and regulate the operation and management systems. By improving and updating your procedures, you will minimize and eliminate the problems recurrence. 

D8 – Congratulate the team

Recognize and reward team’s effort and also individual’s contribution to solve the problem and share the knowledge throughout the company. Your leadership’s feedback and gratitude will motivate employees to take a lead and be proactive to solve the problem the next time it presents itself. It is a celebration time. 

8D reports help to satisfy costumers’ expectations by taking the appropriate steps to resolve a problem in a timely manner and with the best possible outcome.  Do not hesitate spending money and time to fix the problem. Time is the essence and your customer will greatly appreciate your effort and commitment for a quick and flawless resolution.


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