FMEA is a qualitative and systematic tool, usually created within a spreadsheet, to help practitioners anticipate what might go wrong with a product or process, and then to create plans to mitigate the risk of failure.
Although it is typically taught in the Improve stage of training, the FMEA has a place in other phases as well. But before practitioners can gain varied benefits from the tool, they must first be clear on how to use it.
As a tool embedded within Six Sigma methodology, FMEA can help eliminate concerns early in the development of a process. It can be used to systematically examine possible process failure, then to redesign to eliminate the possibility of failure.
While the name of the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) concentrates on how a process fails, the real objective is to concentrate on assessing the effects and viable process controls for the root causes related to any given failure mode.
A well-documented failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA) with robust action plans and implementation can help an organization avoid rework in software projects. FMEA can isolate weak steps, where things may go wrong and where to focus improvements.
FMEA, which has become widespread among Six Sigma practitioners, is a system for analyzing the design of a product or service system to identify potential failures, then taking steps to counteract or at least minimize the risks from those failures.
Six Sigma contains many tools that can be used to improve processes and prevent failures, regardless of whether the full DMAIC roadmap is used. Two tools, process maps and the failure mode and effects analysis (FMEA), were applied in this case study.
Lean Six Sigma practitioners use this tool to identify potential problems and their impact on a process.
In order to prevent risks from happening, or at least to be prepared when they occur, team members should assess the key risks of any project and make a plan to address them. A FMEA chart is a helpful tool in tracking these risk-mitigation efforts.