FMEAs can be intimidating.  Search online and you will find hundreds of templates, and large companies can be very strict on details for their internal templates.  Risk Priority Numbers and mitigation and peripheral effects and more.

Keep in mind the 4 things that matter for FMEAs and the rest is in the details.

  • Severity – how bad is the potential failure? – higher number is worse
  • Occurrence – how often does it happen? – higher number is more often
  • Detection – how easy is it to catch? – higher number is harder to detect
  • Mitigation Action – Multiply the 3 above and the result is the Risk Priority Number or RPN – how can you reduce the severity or occurrence, increase the detection, or change some combination of all three to reduce the Risk Priority Number?  This reduces overall risk for that potential failure mode.

Everything else on the sheet is about tracking details or ownership or departments or how to route the form or some other detail.  The heart of the FMEA is the 4 items above.