8Ds has become a standard in the automotive,  assembly, and other industries that require a thorough structured problem-solving process using a team approach.
Many disciplines are typically involved in the "8Ds" methodology. The tools used can be found in textbooks and reference materials used by quality assurance professionals. For example, an "Is/Is Not" worksheet is a common tool employed at D2, and Ishikawa, or "fishbone," diagrams and "5-why analysis" are common tools employed at step D4. In the late 1990s, Ford developed a revised version of the 8D process that they call "Global 8D" (G8D), which is the current global standard for Ford and many other companies in the automotive supply chain. The major revisions to the process are as follows:
Problem solving consists of using generic or ad hoc methods, in an orderly manner, for finding solutions to problems. Some of the problem-solving techniques developed and used in artificial intelligence , computer science , engineering , mathematics , or medicine are related to mental problem-solving techniques studied in psychology.
Considered the most complex of all intellectual functions, problem solving has been defined as a higher-order cognitive process that requires the modulation and control of more routine or fundamental skills.  Problem solving has two major domains: mathematical problem solving and personal problem solving where, in the second, some difficulty or barrier is encountered. 
The eight disciplines (8D) model is a problem solving approach typically employed by quality engineers or other professionals and commonly used by the automotive industry. Its purpose is to identify, correct, and eliminate recurring problems, and it is useful in product and process improvement.
The approach establishes a permanent corrective action based on statistical analysis of the problem and focuses on the origin of the problem by determining its root causes. Although it originally comprised eight stages, or disciplines, it was later augmented by an initial planning stage.
When a customer issues you a corrective action you should follow the 8D problem solving system. 8D stands for 8 Disciplines. The 8D approach is a complete approach to solving problems. Most customers require an 8D problem solving report for their corrective action request. The easiest approach to creating an 8D report is using 8D software.
After notification of a problem, your customer expects you to take the appropriate steps in a timely manner to resolve that problem. The quicker you address the issue, the more satisfied your customer. A thorough 8D problem solving corrective action has these additional benefits:
The 8D methodology is a type of problem solving that is similar to the DMAIC approach utilized by Six Sigma. Of note, 8D is a shortened form of the original name, ‘8 Disciplines’.
This 8D definition may raise the eyebrows of those familiar with the DMAIC problem solving methodology. Many of these problem solving steps do, in fact, overlap with the DMAIC process. ‘Describe’ the problem (in 8D) aligns with ‘Define’ in the DMAIC methodology. ‘Define’ the root causes is similar to the ‘Analyze’ step, etc. Problem identification and congratulating the team in the 8D steps are not directly stated in the DMAIC methodology, but rather are implied.
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As customers become more experience in forcing suppliers to provide corrective action, they will request documentation that covers the 8D approach and 5Y analysis. This article deals with the five why analysis.
When a problem initially occurs, we all have an immediate reaction as to the cause of that problem. However, that immediate reaction is a surface reaction only. When it comes to examining processes or systems, there are other deeper root causes for that problem. 5Y helps us find the fundamental root causes of a given problem. 5 why problem solving helps us uncover the details behind the problem.
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Excerpted from G. Dennis Beecroft, Grace L. Duffy, and John W. Moran, The Executive Guide to Improvement and Change , ASQ Quality Press, 2003, pages 17-19.