The short form Failure-Mode-Effect-Analysis (FMEA) is an online tool for a narrative description of process failures. Teams might find the short form FMEA useful as a “starting point” tool to identify and discuss process failures then generate potential interventions to test. Processes that require a greater understanding of specific technical steps in high-precision processes may start with the short form but will likely achieve greater understanding using the more traditional FMEA format.
Traditional FMEA is used to prospectively examine how failures could occur during high-risk processes in order to identify the parts of the process that are most in need of change. FMEA also involves documenting current knowledge about failure risks. FMEA seeks to mitigate risk at all levels with resulting prioritized actions that prevent failures or reduce their severity and/or probability of occurrence. FMEA is useful in evaluating a new process prior to implementation and in assessing the impact of a proposed change to an existing process.