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Streamline Your Project Management with a Free Editable Fishbone Diagram Tool

Project management can be a challenging task, especially if you’re working on complex projects with multiple team members and various stakeholders. One of the most critical aspects of project management is identifying and resolving problems that may arise during the project’s lifecycle. To help you with this, a fishbone diagram tool can be an excellent solution. In this article, we’ll explore what a fishbone diagram is, how it works, and how you can use a free editable fishbone diagram tool to streamline your project management.

What is a Fishbone Diagram?

A fishbone diagram, also known as an Ishikawa diagram or cause-and-effect diagram, is a visual tool used to identify the root cause of an issue or problem. It’s called a fishbone diagram because it resembles the skeleton of a fish with its head as the problem statement and its bones as the possible causes.

How does it work?

The process of creating a fishbone diagram involves brainstorming all possible causes related to the problem at hand and categorizing them into different groups. The main categories typically include people, process, equipment/machinery, materials, environment, and measurement.

Once all possible causes are identified and categorized in their respective branches on the fishbone chart, you can analyze each branch’s potential impact on solving the problem. This helps you identify which areas should be prioritized for further investigation or improvement.

Using Free Editable Fishbone Diagram Tools

Creating a fishbone diagram manually can be time-consuming and challenging—especially if you have multiple projects to manage simultaneously. Fortunately, there are several free editable fishbone diagram tools available online that make this process more efficient.

One such tool is Creately’s free editable fishbone diagram maker that allows users to create customizable diagrams quickly and easily. With Creately’s drag-and-drop interface and pre-designed templates, users can add text boxes for each category and subcategory, color-code branches, and even add images or icons to make their diagrams more visually appealing.

Another option is Lucidchart’s free fishbone diagram maker, which also offers a user-friendly interface with pre-designed templates. Users can customize their diagrams by adding shapes, text boxes, and images to represent each category and subcategory. Moreover, Lucidchart allows users to collaborate with team members in real-time, making it an ideal choice for larger projects with multiple stakeholders.

In conclusion, using a fishbone diagram tool can be an effective way to streamline your project management process by identifying the root cause of problems quickly. With the availability of free editable fishbone diagram tools like Creately and Lucidchart, creating a fishbone diagram has become more accessible than ever before. By using these tools, you can save time and effort while ensuring that your project management process is more efficient and effective.

This text was generated using a large language model, and select text has been reviewed and moderated for purposes such as readability.


8d problem solving fishbone


Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

– Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving –

⇓   Introduction to 8D

⇓   What is 8D

⇓   Why Apply 8D

⇓   When to Apply 8D

⇓   How to Apply 8D

Quality and Reliability Support | Quality-One

Introduction to Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D) is a problem solving methodology designed to find the root cause of a problem, devise a short-term fix and implement a long-term solution to prevent recurring problems. When it’s clear that your product is defective or isn’t satisfying your customers, an 8D is an excellent first step to improving Quality and Reliability.

Ford Motor Company developed this problem solving methodology, then known as Team Oriented Problem Solving (TOPS), in the 1980s. The early usage of 8D proved so effective that it was adopted by Ford as the primary method of documenting problem solving efforts, and the company continues to use 8D today.

8D has become very popular among manufacturers because it is effective and reasonably easy to teach. Below you’ll find the benefits of an 8D, when it is appropriate to perform and how it is performed.

What is Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D problem solving process is a detailed, team oriented approach to solving critical problems in the production process. The goals of this method are to find the root cause of a problem, develop containment actions to protect customers and take corrective action to prevent similar problems in the future.

The strength of the 8D process lies in its structure, discipline and methodology. 8D uses a composite methodology, utilizing best practices from various existing approaches. It is a problem solving method that drives systemic change, improving an entire process in order to avoid not only the problem at hand but also other issues that may stem from a systemic failure.

8D has grown to be one of the most popular problem solving methodologies used for Manufacturing, Assembly and Services around the globe. Read on to learn about the reasons why the Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving may be a good fit for your company.

8D - Problem Solving Format

Why Apply Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D methodology is so popular in part because it offers your engineering team a consistent, easy-to-learn and thorough approach to solving whatever problems might arise at various stages in your production process. When properly applied, you can expect the following benefits:

  • Improved team oriented problem solving skills rather than reliance on the individual
  • Increased familiarity with a structure for problem solving
  • Creation and expansion of a database of past failures and lessons learned to prevent problems in the future
  • Better understanding of how to use basic statistical tools required for problem solving
  • Improved effectiveness and efficiency at problem solving
  • A practical understanding of Root Cause Analysis (RCA)
  • Problem solving effort may be adopted into the processes and methods of the organization
  • Improved skills for implementing corrective action
  • Better ability to identify necessary systemic changes and subsequent inputs for change
  • More candid and open communication in problem solving discussion, increasing effectiveness
  • An improvement in management’s understanding of problems and problem resolution

8D was created to represent the best practices in problem solving. When performed correctly, this methodology not only improves the Quality and Reliability of your products but also prepares your engineering team for future problems.

When to Apply Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D problem solving process is typically required when:

  • Safety or Regulatory issues has been discovered
  • Customer complaints are received
  • Warranty Concerns have indicated greater-than-expected failure rates
  • Internal rejects, waste, scrap, poor performance or test failures are present at unacceptable levels

How to Apply Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

The 8D process alternates inductive and deductive problem solving tools to relentlessly move forward toward a solution. The Quality-One approach uses a core team of three individuals for inductive activities with data driven tools and then a larger Subject Matter Expert (SME) group for the deductive activities through brainstorming, data-gathering and experimentation.

D0: Prepare and Plan for the 8D

Proper planning will always translate to a better start. Thus, before 8D analysis begins, it is always a good idea to ask an expert first for their impressions. After receiving feedback, the following criterion should be applied prior to forming a team:

Collect information on the symptoms

Use a Symptoms Checklist to ask the correct questions

Identify the need for an Emergency Response Action (ERA), which protects the customer from further exposure to the undesired symptoms

D1: Form a Team

A Cross Functional Team (CFT) is made up of members from many disciplines. Quality-One takes this principle one step further by having two levels of CFT:

  • The Core Team Structure should involve three people on the respective subjects: product, process and data
  • Additional Subject Matter Experts are brought in at various times to assist with brainstorming, data collection and analysis

Teams require proper preparation. Setting the ground rules is paramount. Implementation of disciplines like checklists, forms and techniques will ensure steady progress.  8D must always have two key members: a Leader and a Champion / Sponsor:

  • The Leader is the person who knows the 8D process and can lead the team through it (although not always the most knowledgeable about the problem being studied)
  • The Champion or Sponsor is the one person who can affect change by agreeing with the findings and can provide final approval on such changes

D2: Describe the Problem

The 8D method’s initial focus is to properly describe the problem utilizing the known data and placing it into specific categories for future comparisons. The “Is” data supports the facts whereas the “Is Not” data does not. As the “Is Not” data is collected, many possible reasons for failure are able to be eliminated. This approach utilizes the following tools:

  • Problem Statement
  • Affinity Diagram (Deductive tool)
  • Fishbone/Ishikawa Diagram (Deductive tool)
  • Problem Description

D3: Interim Containment Action

In the interim, before the permanent corrective action has been determined, an action to protect the customer can be taken. The Interim Containment Action (ICA) is temporary and is typically removed after the Permanent Correct Action (PCA) is taken.

  • Verification of effectiveness of the ICA is always recommended to prevent any additional customer dissatisfaction calls

D4: Root Cause Analysis (RCA) and Escape Point

The root cause must be identified to take permanent action to eliminate it. The root cause definition requires that it can be turned on or off, at will. Activities in D4 include:

  • Comparative Analysis listing differences and changes between “Is” and “Is Not”
  • Development of Root Cause Theories based on remaining items
  • Verification of the Root Cause through data collection
  • Review Process Flow Diagram for location of the root cause
  • Determine Escape Point, which is the closest point in the process where the root cause could have been found but was not

D5: Permanent Corrective Action (PCA)

The PCA is directed toward the root cause and removes / changes the conditions of the product or process that was responsible for the problem. Activities in D5 include:

  • Establish the Acceptance Criteria which include Mandatory Requirements and Wants
  • Perform a Risk Assessment /  Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) on the PCA choices
  • Based on risk assessment, make a balanced choice for PCA
  • Select control-point improvement for the Escape Point
  • Verification of Effectiveness for both the PCA and the Escape Point are required

D6: Implement and Validate the Permanent Corrective Action

To successfully implement a permanent change, proper planning is essential. A project plan should encompass: communication, steps to complete, measurement of success and lessons learned. Activities in D6 include:

  • Develop Project Plan for Implementation
  • Communicate the plan to all stakeholders
  • Validation of improvements using measurement

D7: Prevent Recurrence

D7 affords the opportunity to preserve and share the knowledge, preventing problems on similar products, processes, locations or families. Updating documents and procedures / work instructions are expected at this step to improve future use. Activities in D7 include:

  • Review Similar Products and Processes for problem prevention
  • Develop / Update Procedures and Work Instructions for Systems Prevention
  • Capture Standard Work / Practice and reuse
  • Assure FMEA updates have been completed
  • Assure Control Plans have been updated

D8: Closure and Team Celebration

Teams require feedback to allow for satisfactory closure. Recognizing both team and individual efforts and allowing the team to see the previous and new state solidifies the value of the 8D process. Activities in D8 include:

  • Archive the 8D Documents for future reference
  • Document Lessons Learned on how to make problem solving better
  • Before and After Comparison of issue
  • Celebrate Successful Completion

8D - D0 Reference Card

8D and Root Cause Analysis (RCA)

The 8D process has Root Cause Analysis (RCA) imbedded within it. All problem solving techniques include RCA within their structure. The steps and techniques within 8D which correspond to Root Cause Analysis are as follows:

  • Problem Symptom is quantified and converted to “Object and Defect”
  • Problem Symptom is converted to Problem Statement using Repeated Whys
  • Possible and Potential Causes are collected using deductive tools (i.e. Fishbone or Affinity Diagram)
  • Problem Statement is converted into Problem Description using Is / Is Not
  • Problem Description reduces the number of items on the deductive tool (from step 3)
  • Comparative Analysis between the Is and Is Not items (note changes and time)
  • Root Cause theories are developed from remaining possible causes on deductive tool and coupled with changes from Is / Is Not
  • Compare theories with current data and develop experiments for Root Cause Verification
  • Test and confirm the Root Causes

Is Is Not Example

Example: Multiple Why Technique

The Multiple / Repeated Why (Similar to 5 Why) is an inductive tool, which means facts are required to proceed to a more detailed level. The steps required to determine problem statement are:

  • Problem Symptom is defined as an Object and Defect i.e. “Passenger Injury”
  • Why? In every case “SUV’s Roll Over”
  • Why? In every case, it was preceded by a “Blown Tire”
  • Why? Many explanations may be applied, therefore the team cannot continue with another repeated why past “Blown Tire”
  • Therefore, the Problem Statement is “Blown Tire”
  • Why? Low (Air) Pressure, Tire Defect (Degradation of an Interface) and High (Ambient) Temperature
  • Counter measures assigned to low pressure and tire defect

This example uses only 4 of the 5 Whys to determine the root causes without going further into the systemic reasons that supported the failure. The Repeated Why is one way to depict this failure chain. Fault Tree Analysis (FTA) could also be used.

3 Legged 5 Why

Learn More About Eight Disciplines of Problem Solving (8D)

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Design thinking, innovation, user experience and healthcare design

How to Use the Fishbone Diagram in Root Cause Analysis?

Solving problems is considered an initial part of designers’ practice as they aim for user-centred design. The target that requires root-cause analysis of problems using tools such as the Fishbone diagram. A clear definition for the problem should be highlighted in order to target the proper solution, including analysing the causes behind this problem and its impact on the business. Tools such as TRIZ , SCAMPER Technique and Fishbone Diagram are commonly used to allow exploring a specific problem before providing the proper solution.

Related Articles:

What is the 8D Problem Solving? And How to use the 8D Report?

Using the TRIZ Method for Creative Problem Solving

Problem Solving Using Hurson’s Production Thinking Model

What is the fishbone diagram.

The Fishbone diagram (also known as the root-cause analysis and Ishikawa diagram) is used to identify the root causes of problems by identifying the different factors that may cause the problem. Based on the results, the team can build an effective solution to eliminating the problem.

The term, Fishbone Diagram, was first coined by professor Kaoru Ishikawa in his book “Introduction to Quality Control,” published in 1990. The diagram is also known as the Ishikawa Diagram, Cause and Effect Diagram, and Herringbone Diagram.

The Cause and Effect Diagram can be implemented during the  development brainstorming session  to discover the roots of a specific problem or identify the bottleneck in a particular process by categorising the causes of problems into six main types: people, methods, machines, materials, measurements, and environment. The categorisation of the cause of a problem varies based on the industry, such as the following:

– Manufacturing industry (5 Ms) : Machine, Method, Material, Man Power, and Measurement

– Marketing industry (7 Ps) : Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, and Physical Evidence

– Service industry (5 Ss) : Surrounding, Suppliers, Systems, Skills, and Safety

The name Fishbone Diagram comes from the final shape of the diagram after analysing the problem because the structure looks like a fishbone, which is built gradually from right to left during the problem-solving session. The diagram starts with two main sections; Cause on the left and Effect on the right (video 1). 

Video 1. Definition of the Fishbone Diagram.

Then, the possible causes of the problem are explored by creating branches from the line that link between cause and effect sections, as we will explore in the following example. While this diagram looks similar to other creative thinking methods, such as  mind maps  and  starbursting , it focuses on solving problems rather than exploring ideas.

Using the Fishbone Diagram Example

To understand how the Cause-Effect Diagram works, we will explore an example of a problem and see how to use the Fishbone Diagram to investigate a problem, which is why a design studio company always fails to reach an innovative product or service.

Step 1: Identify the problem (Effect)

The effect, or problem, results from one or multiple causes. Therefore, the problem should be clearly addressed to investigate the related causes. In the Design Studio example, we start by writing the Effect (Lack of Creativity) or the problem on the right side, as shown in the figure below.

Cause effect diagram

Step 2: Define the main causes model

Then, define the main categories of factors that can lead to the root causes of the problem. You can use any of the above highlighted three cause models. In this example, we’ll use the manufacturing industry model (5 Ms): Machine, Method, Material, Man Power, and Measurement.

Fishbone Diagram

Step 3: Investigate possible causes of the problem

After drawing the main general categories, where we can add causes, the discussion starts to investigate all the possible causes for the problem and organize them under the five categories. For example, under Man Power, causes can be a lack of motivation, lack of skills, under-evaluated skills, hiring inappropriate skills, or fixed working hours.

Ishikawa Diagram

Step 4: Analyse the findings

Once the diagram is complete, and causes are organized in the model, the next step is to investigate and discuss each possible cause and rank them based on their priority and influence on the problem. Understanding the different causes may include using research methods such as interviews, focus groups, and surveys.

The below video provides another example of how to use the Fishbone Diagram in identifying the root causes of problems.

Video 2. Example of how to apply the Ishikawa Diagram in identifying the root-causes of problems.

Further resources:

Solve It!: The Mindset and Tools of Smart Problem Solvers

Root Cause Analysis Handbook: A Guide to Efficient and Effective Incident Investigation

When it comes to problems, both designers and managers can fail to find the solution, and part of this failur

e is their inability to find the correct causes of problems. Many methods to achieve this goal, such as the Fishbone Diagram, investigate the relationship between the effect of the problem and its possible causes. In this tool, the causes are categorised and organised in the diagram to build a better understanding of how these causes contribute to the final problem and to order causes based on their priority as a means of addressing the problem in the final solution plan.

Article cover copyrights: Image by storyset on Freepik

The steps to apply the Fishbone Diagram

– Manufacturing industry (5 Ms) : Machine, Method, Material, Man Power, and Measurement – Marketing industry (7 Ps) : Product, Price, Place, Promotion, People, Process, and Physical Evidence – Service industry (5 Ss) : Surrounding, Suppliers, Systems, Skills, and Safety

Dr Rafiq Elmansy

I'm an academic, author and design thinker, currently teaching design at the University of Leeds with a research focus on design thinking, design for health, interaction design and design for behaviour change. I developed and taught design programmes at Wrexham Glyndwr University, Northumbria University and The American University in Cairo. Additionally, I'm a published book author and founder of Designorate.com. I am a fellow for the Higher Education Academy (HEA), the Royal Society of Arts (FRSA), and an Adobe Education Leader. I write Adobe certification exams with Pearson Certiport. My design experience involves 20 years working with clients such as the UN, World Bank, Adobe, and Schneider. I worked with the Adobe team in developing many Adobe applications for more than 12 years.

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Is there a tool with which I can create such a cause-effect diagram easily?

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I’m sorry for the late reply as I was busy with my research. You can use online brainstorming tools such as Mural or Miro. It allows you to create the fish bone shape there.

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The  8D  Problem  Solving  Process

The Global 8D Problem Solving Process

The 8D (Eight Disciplines) Problem Solving Process is a team-oriented and structured problem-solving methodology that is mainly used to identify, correct, and eliminate recurring problems.

The U.S. government first standardized the 8D Problem Solving Process during the Second World War, referring to it as Military Standard 1520. It was later improved and popularized by the Ford Motor Company in the early ‘90s.

Today, the 8D Problem Solving Process has become a standard in many industries as problem-solving, as an internal Corrective Action Request (CAR) Process, and as a Supplier Corrective Action Request (SCAR) Process.

The 8D Problem Solving Process focuses on the origin of the problem by determining root causes and establishing permanent corrective and preventive actions. It follows a systematic eight-step process with integrated basic problem-solving tools.

D1 Establish the Team : Establish a small group of people with the process and/or product knowledge, allocated time, authority, and skills in the required technical disciplines to solve the problem and implement corrective actions. Key Deliverables include:

  • Review the problem or improvement opportunity
  • Review priorities, scope, and complexity
  • Identify if a team is needed
  • Identify team members and establish the team
  • Nominate a team leader and project champion
  • Establish basic team guidelines
  • Consider team-building exercises

D2 Describe the Problem : Describe the internal or external problem by identifying “what is wrong with what” and detailing the problem in quantifiable terms. Develop a clear problem statement and problem description.

  • Develop a Problem Statement
  • Develop a Problem Description using the “IS – IS NOT Matrix”
  • Develop a flowchart of the process and identify critical process steps with respect to the Problem Description
  • Develop a Fishbone Diagram or Process Variables Map to identify possible causes?
  • Determine whether this problem describes a “something changed” or a “never been there” situation
  • Establish a high-level project plan, including milestones, project goals, and objectives

D3 Develop Interim Containment Actions : Define, verify and implement interim containment action to isolate the effects of the problem from any internal and/or external Customer until permanent corrective (preventive) actions are implemented.

  • Define potential Interim Containment Action
  • Verify the effectiveness of potential Interim Containment Action
  • Select and implement Interim Containment Action
  • Validate the effectiveness of implemented Interim Containment Action with the Customer

D4 Define and Verify Root Cause(s) and Escape Point(s) : Isolate and verify the root cause by testing each root cause theory against the problem description and test data. Isolate and verify the place in the process where the effect of the root cause could have been detected and contained but was not (escape point).

  • Establish any additional data collection plans needed to learn more about the problem and/or possible causes
  • Utilize the Fishbone Diagram or Process Variables Map created earlier to identify the most likely cause(s)
  • Isolate and verify the most likely cause(s) by testing each Root Cause Theory against the Problem Description and the collected data
  • Isolate and verify the place in the process where the effect of the root cause could have been detected and contained but was not (escape point)

D5 Choose and Verify Permanent Corrective Actions : Select the best permanent corrective actions to remove the root cause and address the escape point in the process. Verify that both decisions will be successful when implemented and not cause any undesirable effects.

  • Develop solution(s) to remove the root cause(s)
  • Develop solution(s) to address the escape point(s)
  • Select the best solution(s) to remove the root cause(s)
  • Select the best solution(s) to address the escape point(s)
  • Verify that effectiveness of the selected solutions
  • Verify that selected solutions do not cause undesirable effects

D6 Implement and Validate Permanent Corrective Actions : Plan and implement selected permanent corrective actions, and remove the interim containment action. Monitor long-term results.

  • Implement the best solution(s) to remove the root cause(s)
  • Implement the best solution(s) to address the escape point(s)
  • Validate the effectiveness of the implemented solutions from the Customer perspective
  • Monitor the effectiveness of the implemented solutions and assure that they do not cause any undesirable effects
  • Remove Interim Containment Action

D7 Prevent Recurrence : Modify the necessary systems, including policies, methods, and procedures, to prevent the recurrence of the problem and similar ones.

  • Identify opportunities to improve and standardize systems, policies, methods, and procedures for the present problem
  • Identify opportunities to improve and standardize systems, policies, methods, and procedures for similar problems

D8 Recognize Team and Individual Contribution : Complete the team experience and sincerely recognize both team and individual contributions. Celebrate success and identify lessons learned.

  • Perform a final review of the problem-solving project
  • Finalize and archive project documentation
  • Recognize the team’s success and individual contributions
  • Capture lessons learned and integrate findings into the 8D Problem Solving Process
  • Reward and celebrate

While some basic problem-solving tools, such as the 5 Whys, Process Flow Charting, Is/Is Not Analysis, Fishbone Diagram, Process Variables Mapping, Comparative Analysis, Root Cause Verification, and Process Control Plans are an integral part of the overall 8D Problem Solving Process, others tools can be added to this process based on the organization’s needs.

Operational Excellence Consulting offers a one- and two-day The 8D Problem Solving Process Workshop . To learn more about our 8D (Eight Disciplines) Problem Solving Process Solution, please Contact Us and visit our OpEx Academy for Training Materials , eLearning Modules , Online Courses , and Public Workshops .

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What Is an 8D Report? Understanding the 8 Disciplines of Problem-Solving

Someone probably asked you (or told you) to make one... but what is it? Where does it come from? And how to do it?

Have you ever faced a problem that seems too complex to solve? Do you feel like you're stuck and not sure where to begin? This is where the 8D report comes in. Developed in the 1980s as part of the Ford Motor Company's problem-solving methodology, the 8D report is a step-by-step approach to solve complex problems effectively. It combines data analysis, critical thinking, and teamwork to identify the root cause of a problem and develop a sustainable solution.

The Origins of the 8D Report

The 8D report has a rich history that dates back to the 1950s. During that time, a quality control consultant named Kaoru Ishikawa developed the Ishikawa diagram, also known as the fishbone diagram. This approach highlighted a visual way to identify the potential causes of a problem.

The Ishikawa diagram is a tool used to identify the root causes of a problem. It is also known as a fishbone diagram because of its shape. The diagram is made up of a central line that represents the problem, with branches extending out to represent the potential causes. The branches are labeled with categories such as people, process, equipment, and materials to help identify the source of the problem.

Then, in the 1960s, Motorola developed the 7-step approach to quality control, which became a standard for problem-solving across many industries. This approach focused on identifying the root cause of a problem and implementing a solution to prevent it from happening again.

The Birth of the 8D Methodology

Fast-forward to the 1980s, where Ford Motor Company faced a significant problem with their new vehicles. They noticed an increasing number of customer complaints and expensive repairs, which led to a reputation loss and diminished profitability. In response, Ford developed the 8D methodology, a documented process that rigorously addressed recurring and complex issues.

The 8D methodology is an eight-step problem-solving process that is used to identify, correct, and prevent recurring problems. The process involves a team of people working together to identify the root cause of the problem, develop and implement a solution, and monitor the effectiveness of the solution.

The eight steps of the 8D methodology are:

  • Establish the team
  • Describe the problem
  • Implement and verify interim containment actions
  • Define and verify root causes
  • Choose and verify permanent corrective actions
  • Implement and validate corrective actions
  • Prevent recurrence
  • Congratulate the team

The Role of Ford Motor Company in Popularizing 8D

The widespread success of the 8D methodology at Ford Motor Company put it on the map. Other industries and businesses soon adopted the approach, and it became a standard in the automotive industry, aviation, healthcare, and many others. It has been refined and enhanced to suit many different needs, but its core principles remain unchanged.

The 8D methodology is a powerful tool for problem-solving and continuous improvement. By following the eight steps, teams can identify the root cause of a problem, develop and implement a solution, and prevent the problem from recurring. This approach has helped many organizations improve their quality, reduce costs, and increase customer satisfaction.

The 8 Disciplines of Problem-Solving

Problem-solving is an essential skill for any organization. The ability to identify and resolve issues quickly and effectively can make a significant difference in achieving business objectives. The 8D report is a structured problem-solving methodology that can help organizations address complex problems. The methodology involves eight disciplines, each representing a different phase of the process.

D1: Establish the Team

The first step is to establish an interdisciplinary team that will be responsible for generating solutions. The team should consist of individuals from different departments, with different skill sets, and areas of expertise. The team identifies key stakeholders and people who may be affected by the problem or have a stake in the solution. This helps to ensure that the team has a comprehensive understanding of the problem and can develop a solution that meets the needs of all stakeholders.

D2: Define and Describe the Problem

The second step is to define the problem as precisely as possible. This is done by gathering information about when, where, and how the problem occurs, its frequency, and its severity. The team should also identify any patterns or trends that may be contributing to the problem. This helps to ensure that the team has a clear understanding of the problem and can develop an effective solution.

D3: Develop an Interim Containment Plan

The third step involves developing a temporary solution that helps to contain the problem while the team works on finding a permanent solution. The interim containment plan should be designed to prevent the problem from getting worse and minimize the impact on stakeholders. This helps to ensure that the team has time to develop an effective permanent solution.

D4: Determine Root Causes

The fourth step is to determine the root cause of the problem. This involves analyzing data, conducting experiments, and brainstorming to identify all possible causes. The team should also consider the impact of the problem on different stakeholders and identify any underlying issues that may be contributing to the problem. This helps to ensure that the team can develop a permanent solution that addresses the root cause of the problem.

D5: Identify and Verify Permanent Corrective Actions

The fifth step involves developing a permanent and effective solution. The team identifies the best course of action to take, evaluates its feasibility, and verifies its effectiveness. The team should also consider the impact of the solution on different stakeholders and ensure that the solution meets the needs of all stakeholders. This helps to ensure that the team can develop a permanent solution that addresses the root cause of the problem and meets the needs of all stakeholders.

D6: Implement and Validate Permanent Corrective Actions

The sixth step involves implementing the selected solution and validating its effectiveness. The team monitors the situation to ensure that the problem does not recur. The team should also communicate the solution to all stakeholders and ensure that they understand how the solution will be implemented. This helps to ensure that the solution is effectively implemented and the problem does not recur.

D7: Prevent Recurrence

The seventh step involves putting measures in place that ensure the problem does not happen again. This includes developing and implementing preventive measures that address the causes of the problem. The team should also monitor the situation to ensure that the preventive measures are effective and adjust them as necessary. This helps to ensure that the problem does not recur and the organization can avoid similar issues in the future.

D8: Congratulate the Team and Share Lessons Learned

The eighth and final step involves congratulating the team for their hard work and sharing the lessons learned with the broader stakeholder base. This helps to improve the organization's problem-solving capabilities and establish best practices for future issues. The team should also document the entire process, including the problem, the solution, and the lessons learned. This helps to ensure that the organization can learn from the experience and apply the knowledge gained to future issues.

The Benefits of Using an 8D Report

The 8D methodology has become increasingly popular in recent years as a problem-solving tool. It provides a structured approach to problem-solving that has several advantages for businesses and problem solvers alike.

Improved Problem-Solving Skills

One of the most significant benefits of using the 8D methodology is that it sharpens your problem-solving skills. By breaking down the problem into manageable steps, the methodology helps you think critically and analyze the situation. This, in turn, helps build a culture that values critical thinking and analysis, making it easier to solve problems in the future. Additionally, by reducing the time it takes to solve problems, the 8D methodology saves valuable resources that can be used elsewhere.

Enhanced Teamwork and Collaboration

The interdisciplinary team is one of the critical components of the 8D methodology. By bringing together team members from different disciplines, the methodology encourages collaboration and a diverse range of perspectives. This leads to better solutions and a more inclusive culture in the organization. By working together, team members can identify problems more quickly and develop more effective solutions.

Reduced Recurrence of Issues

Another significant benefit of the 8D method is that it provides a robust and effective solution to recurring problems. The structured approach breaks down the problem into manageable steps that ensure that it is entirely resolved, and the cause is eliminated. This reduces the likelihood of the problem recurring in the future, saving time and resources that would otherwise be spent addressing the same issue repeatedly.

Increased Customer Satisfaction

By using the 8D methodology, businesses can identify and solve problems before they impact their customers. This leads to an improvement in customer satisfaction, as customers are less likely to experience issues with the product or service. Ultimately, this increased customer satisfaction leads to increased retention and revenue for the business.

In conclusion, the 8D methodology is an effective problem-solving tool that has several benefits for businesses and problem solvers. By improving problem-solving skills, enhancing teamwork and collaboration, reducing the recurrence of issues, and increasing customer satisfaction, the 8D methodology can help businesses become more efficient and effective.

The 8D methodology is a proven and effective problem-solving approach. It helps businesses tackle complex issues with a structured and rigorous approach that leads to sustainable solutions. By focusing on the root cause of the problem and implementing preventive measures, the 8D report reduces the recurrence of problems, increases customer satisfaction, and enhances the organization's problem-solving skills. Implementing the 8D methodology can save businesses time, money, and valuable resources.

Supplios can help you (and your suppliers) complete 8D reports, SCAR, and other important Quality processes much faster and more efficiently than before. Our fully automated system can be configured to match your specific process, and we integrate with many ERP and QMS systems.

Inquire with our team to get a custom demo of the platform today!

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What Is The 8D Problem Solving Process?

  • Posted on October 7, 2020
  • by Lucy Bell-Young

Back in 1983, Ford Motor Company was struggling to cope with the influx of complaints about the quality of American cars, so they decided to approach Dr W. Edwards Deming for his professional advice. Ford had expected Deming’s seminars to revolve around how to improve quality, but instead he focused on how Ford should improve management and thus, the 8D model was created as a problem-solving strategy.

In this post:

 The 8D Problem Solving Format

The 8D Model, also known as the 8D Report, consists of 8 stages, or “disciplines,” that can be used to analyse problems encountered in the workplace. The main aim of the process is to identify the root cause of a problem and put procedures in place to rectify it, ensuring that the matter won’t come back to haunt you.

When managers of companies are faced with a problem, they want to solve it quickly and thoroughly. However, these terms almost contradict each other, and a quick-fix can often lead to a recurring issue. To help teams develop a customised, permanent solution to their problems, Ford published the 8 Disciplines Model in their 1987 manual for ‘Team Oriented Problem Solving’ (TOPS), and this article will show you how it works.

Problem solving concept with root cause diagram

Discipline 0: Plan

The 8D Model should technically be renamed the 9D Model because discipline 0 was added later on as a preliminary preparation stage. The planning discipline includes pondering who will be on your team, how long you have to fix the problem, and what resources you’re likely to need in the process.

Discipline 1: Build The Team

Time to recruit some team members. This can be a puzzling decision; a diverse team may be advantageous because they can offer different skills and suggestions, but if their ideas oppose each other’s too much, you could be faced with lots of time spent solving their disagreements.

It may be good to glue the team together and encourage team work with some ice breakers and team building activities at this stage.

Discipline 2: Describe The Problem

Ensure the assembled team are filled in with a detailed background – who, what, when, where, why and how? Quantify where possible, to inform your team of the severity of the problem.

Identifying the root cause comes later on. For now, just focus on making sure your team understands what’s going on above the surface.

Discipline 3: Implement A Temporary Fix

Apply a temporary band aid to stop the problem spiralling while you figure out your next move. Get each member of the team to contribute their initial ideas and consider cost, relevancy and implementation time, making sure the procedure is worth the effort.

Discipline 4: Identify And Eliminate The Root Cause

This is where you attempt to dig out the origin. Conduct a cause-and-effect analysis using a fishbone diagram to help you uncover numerous possible causes and highlight any problems you may not have been aware of.

Apply root cause analysis to zone in on the deeper causes of the issues you’ve identified. One way to perform a root cause analysis is by asking the 5 Whys . You can then make a start on figuring out some permanent solutions to the problems.

8D problem solving using fishbone diagram

Discipline 5: Verify The Solution

You need to test your solution before it can be fully implemented to avoid the risk of unwanted side effects. The “Six Thinking Hats” may sound like some magical objects from a Harry Potter book, but they can be a useful technique for examining your potential solution from multiple angles.

Discipline 6: Implement A Permanent Fix

Now your solution is ready to be unleashed and monitored. Make sure it’s working properly and keep an eye out for side effects.

If it doesn’t seem to be working, re-trace your steps and make any necessary modifications.

Discipline 7: Prevent The Problem From Recurring

When you’re certain you’ve found the solution, gather your team to come up with a way to prevent the problem from arising again in the future. This could involve updating your company’s policies or procedures, or training others on the new process or standard.

Discipline 8: Celebrate Your Success

Show your team you appreciate all of their hard work by thanking them all individually for their efforts and specific input. Share your developments with the rest of your employees and keep them informed of the new way of working and problem-solving.

At ReAgent, we like to gather a team and progress through the 8D model whenever we encounter any major problems. To illustrate, here’s an example of a hypothetical issue that could well occur in our factory:


When To Use 8D Problem Solving

Since 8D was created to ensure that best practices are applied to problem solving, it should be used whenever a recurring or serious issue pops up. 8D problem solving is typically used when the following have been discovered:

  • Safety or regulatory issues
  • Frequent equipment test failures
  • Poor performance or productivity
  • Unprecedented numbers of complaints

This doesn’t mean that the 8D Model should be used for every problem, however, since this would be unnecessary and, in some cases, wasteful. This is because time spent reporting every small problem ultimately reduces productivity and wastes resources. Rather, the seriousness of an issue should be assessed prior to implementing 8D problem solving. In a nutshell, if you need to investigate the root cause of a persistent or deep-set problem, only then should the 8D Model be used.

When implementing the 8D problem solving process, using a template is key to comprehensively documenting your progress at each stage. Now that we’re in 2020, these templates are more efficient than ever, allowing you to do things like add evidence photos with annotations and make use of data analysis. 8D templates can usually be downloaded for free , giving you no excuse to continue avoiding that nagging problem!

All content published on the  ReAgent.co.uk  blog is for information only. The blog, its authors, and affiliates cannot be held responsible for any accident, injury or damage caused in part or directly from using the information provided. Additionally, we do not recommend using any chemical without reading the Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), which can be obtained from the manufacturer. You should also follow any safety advice and precautions listed on the product label. If you have health and safety related questions, visit  HSE.gov.uk .

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