Intro to FMEA Template: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis:

FMEA Template - Failure Mode and Effects Analysis template

FMEA is a method for identifying potential problems and prioritizing them so that you can begin to tackle or mitigate them.

Failure modes are the individual ways where problems can occur within a process. These need to be identified so that an effective analysis can take place. 

Effects analysis is the process of tracking the causes of these problems and taking the necessary steps to prioritize the failures. Once prioritized, these problems can be tackled and the process optimized

This checklist is designed to be run to guide you and your team through the necessary steps to complete a successful Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

Each task along the left-hand side highlights the step to be taken, while extra explanation is given in the task descriptions. 

Use the form fields where provided to record relevant data. 

This Process Street checklist is designed to help you follow a grid process for documenting your FMEA as outlined in the image below. 

Example in-progress FMEA for an ATM transaction process

Record the stakeholders involved in the analysis

It is important when running your FMEA Template that you have all relevant stakeholders involved in the process. 

Functions often included: design, manufacturing, quality, testing, reliability, maintenance, purchasing, sales, marketing, and customer service.

You may also consider bringing customers into your Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. This is not a typical way of approaching an FMEA, but increasingly customer led approaches have been seen to improve customer satisfaction. 

Use the form fields below to list relevant stakeholders.

Using the members form field below, assign the individual who will approve the finished FMEA.

Define the scope of your investigation

Before beginning the investigation it is important to define the scope of what you are looking to analyze in your Failure Mode and Effects Analysis. 

Narrow the scope of your investigation to target a specific process which you can then analyze in depth. 

When you have settled on a process, begin to probe the process with your initial questions:

  • What is the purpose of this system, design, process or service?
  • What do our customers expect it to do?
  • Who are the responsible parties for the different sections of the process?
  • Why are our customers interacting with this process?

Your questions may vary depending on the process you are analyzing, but they should seek to gain a high-level understanding of the environment within which this process exists. 

You can break the scope into multiple subsections if you need to. You want to reach a point where your scope can be defined with only two words. The standard practice is to try to reduce the scope down to a verb followed by a noun. 

In the Intro to FMEA Template section, there is an example grid of an analysis of an ATM. This scope could be reduced to "deliver cash" or "disburse money". The more concise the scope, the more clear the core purpose. 

Use the form field below to define your two-word scope.

Determine all the functions within the process

Once you have your scope, you can begin to map the existing process

You can use a workflow map like the one shown below to first understand how the process flows. 

FMEA Template workflow diagram

At each point in the process, determine the function of each step

These functions will be your points of reference from which we'll analyze potential failures. 

In the example workflow diagram above, we may identify a further function which isn't in the workflow - "User accesses website and reads the content". This function would bring in a further element of technical analysis of the website which would be overlooked if we focused solely on the content of the workflow rather than breaking the constituent parts into functions. 

Viewing steps as functions provides a different prism through which to view company activities and connects different workflows together. 

Use the form field below to list the functions in the process.

Identify all the possible failures for each function

Each way a function can fail is known as a failure mode. 

Start by going through each function one by one and listing all the potential failure modes for each. You can use the form field provided for these exploratory notes. 

If you need to redefine the function to add detail to assist identifying failure modes, do so.

When you have each function documented, write each of your functions and their failure modes into your FMEA grid.

Identify all the consequences for each failure mode

Once you have your different failure modes documented in your grid, you can identify all the consequences to the:

  • system,
  • related systems,
  • process,
  • related processes,
  • product,
  • service,
  • customer,
  • or regulations.

These are potential effects of failure. Not all will be relevant to your analysis but all should be considered.

Take a customer-centric approach and consider questions such as: “What does the customer experience because of this failure? What happens when this failure occurs?”

Use the form field below for any notes.

Determine the severity rating for each effect

The S on your grid stands for severity and is scored on a 1-10 scale with 10 being the most catastrophic.

Give the failure mode in question a severity score out of ten in the S column. 

Use the form field below to record each failure mode and its severity score as you go through each.

Establish the root causes for each failure mode

Utilize the practical knowledge of the team to identify the root causes for every failure mode listed. The causes for each could be varied and will demonstrate why it was so important to involve all stakeholders in the task. 

You can also use cause analysis tools to assist you in your investigation.

These may include:

Use the form field below to record any notes. 

Calculate the occurrence rating for each cause

The occurrence rating is a measure of the frequency of the event occurring. For factory defects, the frequency may be quite high, whereas for system outages the frequency may be very low. 

Frequency is only one part of understanding how important a problem is. 

Calculate a score out of ten, with 1 being not frequent and 10 being very frequent. 

Record the score in your grid for each cause. 

You can also document your occurrence ratings in the form field provided below. 

Determine the existing process controls for each cause

For each cause you have identified, determine which controls you have in place already to prevent that cause from triggering the failure mode. 

Note these controls in your grid in their column.

Use the form field below for notes.

Calculate the detection rating for each control

Assign a detection score (D) to measure how easy or difficult it is to detect whether the controls are functioning.

This detection score is based on the ability of the control to detect the cause of the problem after the cause has occurred, but before the customer has experienced the problem.

Use the form field below for notes on detection scores. 

Calculate the Risk Priority Number (RPN) for each failure mode

The out-of-ten scores you have determined for severity, occurrence, and detection are then used to calculate the Risk Priority Number by multiplying them all together: SOD.

Each cause receives a Risk Priority Number.

Use the form field below to list each cause and its RPN.

Calculate the criticality for each failure mode

The criticality score is an alternative measure which can help you make decisions as to priority

The criticality score is calculated by multiplying the severity and occurrence: S x O.

Use the form field below to list the causes and their criticality scores.

Identify corrective actions and responsibilities

Work with your team to determine corrective actions you can take to improve the process. 

If you are running this FMEA Template on a live process, you may want to implement each change as you go. If you are establishing a new process or redesigning a process, you can work through each failure mode in order of priority until all mapping is complete. 

Use the form field below to record your notes.

Estimate projected RPNs and criticality for proposed solutions

Evaluate your recommended actions along the same guidelines you used to assess existing failure modes and causes. 

Calculate the RPNs and criticality scores for your solutions. 

Record them in your grid and use the form field below to list your causes and their new metrics. 

Establish a tracking process to monitor solution performances

Work with your team to design processes to track the performance of the changes your FMEA has recommended. 

This will allow you to document your work and assess your changes at a future date for further improvement. 

Use the form field below to record notes. 

Upload your finished FMEA grid

Upload your completed FMEA grid in the form field below and use the email widget to send the report to all stakeholders.

Approval: Completed FMEA

Will be submitted for approval:
  • Upload your finished FMEA grid
    Will be submitted


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