Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)Qualitative analysis

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)Qualitative analysis

Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)Qualitative analysis
 Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)Qualitative analysis
 

 
No one wants a defective product, whether they are an end user or the company which is developing the product. Defects are costly, frustrating, and damaging to the company’s reputation.  You, as a project manager, will never want your company to lose money or suffer damage to its reputation. Therefore you should use any possible technique to minimize failure or defects in the product.
One possible technique is “Failure Mode and Effect Analysis” or FMEA, also known as “Failure Modes Effects and Criticality Analysis” (FMECA) or sometimes simply “failure modes”.  This technique helps you locate potential issues with a product and then you can take corrective action to stop this defect from occurring.  The FMEA technique can be used improve your systems, design processes, and the production processes. 
 
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Failure Mode and Effect Analysis (FMEA)

Despite its complex name, FMEA is a very simple qualitative technique which involves brainstorming with experts and listing their comments in a table format.  It is similar to the process of creating a probability and Impact matrix.  In this technique experts identify possible causes for product failure, the chances of these failure happening, the impact of these failures, how easy is to detect failure, etc.  These opinions are noted in a table for further review  With the use of this technique, you can identify many key failures which might affect your product.

When to Use the FMEA

FMEA is used extensively in project management. However, for the following cases, this technique is most useful for avoiding for future errors and improving the reliability of the process and the product.  
-During the development of a new product or process.  
-Before changes are made to the product or the process.  
-After identifying an error in the process or the product.  
-When receiving numerous and consistent complaints from customers.  
-Sales support cost is unusually high.  
-When company credibility is at stake.  
You can use this technique for any process and any product. This technique is not confined to any industry or technology.

How to Use FMEA

As this technique is a qualitative analysis tool, it requires expert judgment; all relevant and available experts will need to be called in for one or more brainstorming sessions. These experts will help you postulate, collect, and evaluate the potential defects, their causes and the impact of the defects.  The experts should belong to all functional areas of the process or product so you can cover the complete product life cycle.

Example

You can use the following table to record the experts’ input. Special attention is given to analyzing the cause of possible equipment failure. 
 
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The Author: Ala'a Elbeheri
 
                                          Ala'a Elbeheri
About:
A versatile and highly accomplished senior certified IT risk management Advisor and Senior IT Lead Auditor with over 20 years of progressive experience in all domains of ICT.
• Program and portfolio management, complex project management, and service delivery, and client relationship management.      
• Capable of providing invaluable information while making key strategic decisions and spearheading customer-centric projects in IT/ICT in diverse sectors.    
• Displays strong business and commercial acumen and delivers cost-effective solutions contributing to financial and operational business growth in international working environments.      
• Fluent in oral and written English, German, and Arabic with an Professional knowledge of French.  
• Energetic and dynamic relishes challenges and demonstrates in-depth analytical and strategic ability to facilitate operational and procedural planning.  
• Fully conversant with industry standards, with a consistent track record in delivering cost-effective strategic solutions.    
• Strong people skills, with proven ability to build successful, cohesive teams and interact well with individuals across all levels of the business. Committed to promoting the ongoing development of IT skills  throughout an organization.

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