SPEAK TO THE PROBLEMS
(SHORT NOTES FROM PROBLEM SOLVING SKILLS:
Problem-Solving Approaches at http://www.mindtools.com)
Solving Major Problems in a Disciplined Way
The eight disciplines are shown in figure 1, below:
Figure 1: The 8D Problem-Solving Process
The 8D Process works best in solving a complex problem with identifiable symptoms.
Discipline 0: Plan
- plan your approach: team members, time frame, and resources
Discipline 1: Build the Team
- put together a team that has the skills needed, has time and energy to commit
- a diverse team is more likely to find a creative solution
- Create a team charter that outlines the team's goal and identifies each person's role
- get everyone involved in the process
- beginning with team-building activities
Discipline 2: Describe the Problem
- describe the problem in detail
- Specify the who, what, when, where, why, how, and how many
- focus on the right problem
- doing a Risk Analysis
- help team members understand how the process works
- think about how best to fix it
- the goal is to look at what's going wrong
- make sure that your team understands the full extent of the problem
Discipline 3: Implement a Temporary Fix
- understands the problem and come up with a temporary fix
- Harness the knowledge of everyone on the team
- address issues such as cost, implementation time, and relevancy
- The short-term solution should be quick, easy to implement, and worth the effort
Discipline 4: Identify and Eliminate the Root Cause
- discover the root cause
- develop several permanent solutions
Discipline 5: Verify the Solution
- test it
- spot any potential problems
- make sure no unexpected future consequences
- examine from several different emotional perspectives
- confirm haven't overlooked a key factor, or made an incorrect assumption
Discipline 6: Implement a Permanent Solution
- roll your fix out
- Monitor this new solution closely
- ensure that there are no unexpected side effects
Discipline 7: Prevent the Problem From Recurring
- identify how you'll prevent the problem from recurring in the future
- update your organization's standards, policies, procedures, or training manual to reflect the new fix
- need to train others on the new process or standard
- need to consider whether to change your management practices or procedures to prevent recurrence
Discipline 8: Celebrate Team Success
The last step in the process is to celebrate and reward your team's success . Say "thank you" to everyone involved, and be specific about how each person's hard work has made a difference. If appropriate, plan a party or celebration to communicate your appreciation.
Before the team disbands, conduct a Post-Implementation Review to analyze whether your solution is working as you thought, and to improve the way that you solve problems in the future.
In the late 1980s, Ford Motor Company developed the 8D (8 Disciplines) Problem-Solving Process to help manufacturing and engineering teams diagnose, treat, and eliminate quality problems. However, teams in any industry can use this problem-solving process.
The eight disciplines are:
Build the Team.
Describe the Problem.
Implement a Temporary Fix.
Identify and Eliminate the Root Cause.
Verify the Solution.
Implement a Permanent Solution.
Prevent the Problem From Recurring.
Celebrate Team Success.
The 8D Problem-Solving Process is best used with a team solving complex problems; however, individuals can also use it to solve problems on their own.