8D Story: A real life application for engineering companies - I 
    Can we treat our prototype’s dysfunctions as series production companies do?
Our customers are very demanding and our products are up to their requirements; Quality, cost and time have been secured! However, we have lived a major moment: Even if our product has successfully passed the final tests in our premises. the tests at the customer have been less successful …
An “opportunity” for us to implement a problem solving methodology. A team is now defined and we are embarked on a 8D method.
    I was telling you about the work team …

    If at first we thought of the project manager as the 8D group facilitator, we have evolved… In fact, as a stakeholder in the solving of our problem, it will be difficult for him to play his facilitator role while bringing “some water in the mill”!!! We quickly turned to a function more unifying in the enterprise, namely a technician quality. Therefore, the team is formed by the project manager, a studies manager, a people in charge of the design office, an integrator, a test responsible.

    To follow the suggested advices during training, we have integrated a “candid” person. 
    This team will naturally be completed if need during the “Solutions” phase. But we are not there…for the brainstorming phase on the research of causes. I shall present you this phase a little more in detail in a future publication. Our choice went towards our IT specialist who does not “soak” into our products

    Our first thought was into the precautionary measures taken during the problem identification. In fact, a record of non-compliance had been transmitted but was it complete? A first action to be taken … On the other hand, what are the instructions passed to the customer to protect the product as is? Everything was mainly done in the oral … We need to record these instructions in a concise way and transmit them to the customer: so we have our second action, a procedure for dealing with non-compliances to update also to be made systematically if it happens again. 

    Now let us go to the heart of the matter … What happened? What is our problem? If this stage seems easy, obvious the truth is quite different … For the facilitator, he needs to be vigilant on people speeches into the team. If everyone speaks at the same time!!! The facilitator must also be aware of staying out of the problem solving because he will quickly loose elements coming from the team!!!

    The key message to be kept is: THE CRIME SCENE …

    Do not let ourselves embark into suppositions, or into causes research and even less into the search for solutions!!! Basic tools helps to stay into the objective but the facilitator should not lack rigor; charisma. 
    5W’s 1H: You naturally know the rest … it remains to pass every question into detail and to stay into FACTUAL

    First of all What? Which product, which subset, what element… presents a gap with what was expected. Visual put everyone in accordance!!! Photos, sketches, plan… Nevertheless we have to pay attention: when the product is “complex” it is normal to wonder while projecting a picture: “but where is this situated?” And there an action is clearly identified: mapping « photo-effect of the problem » the product. 

    Who? Where? When? are questions quickly clarified

    How? Here it is a more technical part with characteristics … put the entire group in accordance on the units, on the detail level, on the interest carried in an element … While staying into the definition of the problem!!! (The natural returns at full gallop!!! Fast fast the dive towards a solution!!! This is not the moment!!! It could be fatal for us!!!)

 Why? Here an obvious fact to SATISFY THE CUSTOMER (the product arrived to destination but it is not in a working condition anymore …)  
The continuation of our Solving Problem will attempt to describe how we shall “attack” this fundamental stage: Research of Roots Causes

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