Use Case Scenario
Let us assume that a defect occurred in production during component assembly. The production worker documented the defect in the SAP S/4HANA system. After reviewing the defect, Heli comes to the conclusion that a more comprehensive and formally structured solution approach is required. She decides to initiate a problem-solving process within the framework of 8D. By choosing Start Problem-Solving Process within a defect, she generates an 8D issue.
Process in SAP S/4HANA
The 8D (Eight Disciplines) process is a problem-solving methodology used to identify, analyze, and resolve complex issues within an organization. It aims to provide a structured approach to addressing problems, preventing their recurrence, and improving overall processes. In the context of SAP S/4HANA, the 8D process can be integrated to manage and resolve issues related to various aspects of the business.
Starting from the production defect, the quality engineer creates an 8D issue from the defect. The 8D process is executed in SAP S/4HANA, as illustrated in the following figure.
- Assemble an 8D team (step D1):
A cross-functional team is formed to address the issue. This team typically consists of individuals with expertise in different areas related to the problem. For our production defect, this team might include individuals from engineering, quality control, warehouse, production engineers, and production workers.
In the system, the 8D team lead assigns the involved employees in the roles 8D team lead and 8D team member, respectively.
- Describe the problem (step D2):
The 8D team reviews the defect data (for example, attachments, affected production order, material, and so on) as well as related information and adds a description to the 8D issue.
In the system, the 8D team lead and members document the agreed problem description in the respective fields. If available, images and other data from production that might be required for the execution of the 8D process can be added to the issue.
- Execute immediate actions (step D3):
The team's first step is to implement immediate containment measures to prevent the problem from escalating further. These measures ensure that the issue does not affect additional processes or customers.
In our example, a task is added by an 8D team member to the issue and then sent to an employee in the warehouse to check for similar broken components. If they are found, they should be moved to blocked stock for further analysis. The warehouse clerk receives the action in their mailbox, execute the task, and provide feedback.
- Root cause analysis (step D4):
The team analyzes the issue in-depth to determine its root cause(s). This involves data collection, data analysis, and collaboration among team members. In the context of SAP S/4HANA, data from the production order and the defect can be used to understand how the issue originated and propagated. The 8D team documents the identified root cause issue in the system. If multiple root causes were identified, you can also add more than one root cause. The steps D5 and D6 of the 8D process are executed for each root cause.
For our production defect, the root cause was "incorrect handling by the operator," which is documented accordingly in the system.
- Propose Corrective Actions (step D5):
Based on the root cause analysis, the 8D team proposes corrective actions that address the underlying issues causing the problem. These actions are designed to eliminate the root causes. When the actions are defined, they are approved for processing. Note that not all proposed actions might be released, for example, due to time and cost limitations.
In our example, the broken component is replaced by a new component. An 8D team member defines a respective action in the system and assigns an action processor. Approved actions are released and transferred to the D6 step for execution.
- Implement Corrective Actions (step D6):
The approved corrective actions are implemented across the organization. This may involve making changes within the master data of SAP S/4HANA, modifying processes, updating documentation, executing repairs, and so on.
In our example, the broken component is replaced as requested by a production operator. They record their efforts to a repair order created by engineering so that the cost of non-conformance can be tracked. Furthermore, the production operator confirms the corrective action by setting a status.
- Define and implement preventive actions (step D7):
When the issue is resolved and validated, the team works on optimizing the processes or procedures to prevent similar problems from occurring in the future.
In our example, additional training for production workers should be executed to handle components with more care. An 8D team member creates the action in the system, assigns an action responsible and releases the action for processing. Again, the action responsible receives a notification, executes the action, documents the outcome, and completes the action by setting a status.
- Congratulate your team (step D8):
During this step, you recognize the collective efforts of the team.
In our example, the lessons learned are documented.
Technically, the Resolve Internal Problems app is used to execute the 8D process. In the app, the 8D team can add information to the 8D issue and create quality tasks that are executed by the assigned processors. The latter use the Process Quality Tasks app to review the task and provide feedback on execution.
How to Process Defects Using the 8D Methodology: System Demonstration
In the following demonstration, the eight steps of the 8D process are executed in the SAP S/4HANA system: