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Problem Solving Techniques

What You Need to Know About 8D and DMAIC Problem-Solving?

What is the Difference Between 8D and DMAIC?

One of the most frequent questions we get from people new to Quality Improvement:  What in the heck is the difference between 8-D and DMAIC problem-solving methods?

First let's talk about what the similarities are between 8D and DMAIC.  Both are step-by-step problem-solving methods.  The 8-D Problem-Solving approach guessed it...8 steps!  DMAIC has just five phases, but they happen to make up the acronym DMAIC - Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control. 

OK, so what are the differences between 8D and DMAIC?  There are probably people who would argue that there are LOTS of differences between the two.  But, as we see it, the biggest difference is in Step 3 of the 8D process:  Implement and Verify Interim Containment.  There is not a comparable explicit step in the DMAIC process.  One downside to Interim Containment is that it can give you a false sense that the problem is solved and that you can move onto the next problem.  Interim Containment is typically a quick and dirty band aid approach to addressing the symptoms of a problem and not the root cause.  But, the reality is that if a business problem is serious enough, it merits a band aid to "stop the bleeding."  Then it is up to the team to complete the rest of the 8-D process including removing the "band-aid" once the root cause is found and addressed.

Which is Best?  8D or DMAIC?

So, which method is best?  Some would swear by 8D while others would swear by DMAIC.  Our thoughts are: 

Both processes can generate huge improvements for an organization.
Anything is better than nothing.

Pick one approach or the other or select from one of the many other structured problem-solving approaches that focus on data collection, data analysis, and prevention of recurrence. 
Stick with the same approach throughout a corporation to build a common understanding of the process and terminology throughout the organization.

If necessary, alter the process to meet your organization's needs, but don't cut out any of the steps in either process - they are critical to getting to the root cause of a problem.
Because many of the core elements of problem-solving are the same, much of the information you find here will work regardless of the specific problem-solving process.

Problem-Solving Resources
    Data Collection & Organization Tools
    Affinity Grouping
    Cause & Effect Diagrams
    Data Collection Forms
    Tally Sheets
    Quality Function Deployment

Data Display & Analysis Tools
    Bar Charts & Line Graphs
    Comparative Analysis (What Is – What Isn’t)
    Concentration Diagrams
    Cost of Quality
    DPMO Calculations
    Fault-Tree Analysis
    Pareto Analysis
    Pie Charts
    Run (Trend) Charts
    Scatter Diagrams
    Timeline Analysis

Decision-Making Techniques
    Musts & Wants
    Nominal Group Technique
    Voting and Ranking
    Forced Ranking
    Force Field Analysis
    Financial Analysis

General Improvement Tools
    FMEA (Failure Mode & Effects Analysis)

Process Mapping Tools
    Brown Paper Flows
    Workflow Diagrams
    Current State Maps
    SIPOC Diagrams

Project Management Tools
    Problem Statement
    Team Start-Up Worksheet
    Meeting Minutes & Planner
    Activity Plan
    PERT Charts
    Gantt Charts

Statistical Tools & Techniques
    Control Charts
    Process Capability Measures
    Correlation/Regression Analysis
    Multivariate Analysis
    Design of Experiments
    GR&R Studies
    Tests of Significance

Problem-Solving Forms and Checklists
    8D Problem-Solving Worksheet (3 pages)
    DMAIC Problem-Solving Worksheet (3 pages)
    Problem Statement Worksheet
    Team Start-Up Worksheet
    Meeting minutes and Planner Form
    Comparative Analysis Worksheet
    Checklist to Prevent Recurrence

Download :- 8D Problem Solving Worksheet

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