An ability to solve problems is one of the most basic skills for any engineer. Most certainly, there are more than one ways to solve any given problem.
Sometimes it’s easy to throw money at it, procure better resource and procure a solution. Sometimes, time is the cure, so preventing further damage, sitting on it and waiting for the extremal factors to alleviate could help. Sometimes, it needs a superhero employee, the one person who just know what strings to pull and which stones to turn to solve the problem. The results are different and cure may be delayed, but by one way or another, the problem is solved. These methods are rather uncontrolled and avail an uncertain outcome, which is difficult to learn from, in order to prevent the further occurrence of similar problems in future. This is where the ‘structured problem solving’ methods come in.
We must remember that problem solving is a skill that can be developed if learnt and practiced correctly. Use of a structured technique for solving problems has several advantages over traditional ‘roll the sleeves up and get the hands dirty’ approach.
The presentation below provides an introduction to 8D problem solving along with a case study. 8D is an acronym used for 8 Dimensions / Stages of problem solving. Read through the slides to learn what is required at each stage and the key 'do' and 'don't' points. This article is a first of our two part series. We intend to discuss 2 of our favourite techniques for structured problems solving in this series, and this article is dedicated to ‘8D problem solving’.
Riya specialises in enterprise transformations through selective use of BPR and SixSigma techniques. She holds a Bachelors degree in Mechanical Engineering from Pune University and a Masters Degree in Business Process Reengineering from Brighton University. She is a Chartered Manager and Certified Project Manager. She is also a trained trainer and a certified Lean SixSigma Black Belt coach. She has a wealth of experience in aerospace manufacturing and supply chain segments.