The Quick Guide to Perform an FMEA Process [one-page infographic]

Nov 14, 2019

The application of the FMEA process has been around for many years, and most organisations applied it in one form or another. Here is our quick guide to perform the FMEA process to help refresh your knowledge.

What is Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)?  

The Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a qualitative reliability engineering method for systematically analysing the possible failure mode of each equipment and component, and identifying the possible failure cause, the failure mode cause frequency, how the failure mode cause can be detected, as well as the resulting consequence of the failure mode effect on quality, safety, health and environment and asset performance. 

Based on different asset life cycle phases, FMEA can be categorised into various types. Design FMEA (DFMEA) and Process FMEA (PFMEA) are two primary categories.

Key Elements in an FMEA Process

Generally, an FMEA process requires the FMEA team to identify and perform the following elements: 

  • System Hierarchy 
  • Equipment / Component (s) 
  • Function(s) 
  • Failure(s) 
  • Effect(s) of failure 
  • Cause(s) of failure 
  • Current control(s) 
  • Risk associated with the issue(s) 
  • Recommended Task, Action and Plans 
  • Implementation of Actions 
  • Review FMEA performance results 

Steps of an FMEA Process

To take the most cost-effective actions to eliminate the failures, we should conduct an FMEA process in 13 steps.  

Preparation Stage

Step 1: Assemble a cross-functional FMEA team of subject matter experts 

Step 2: Gather and review relevant information on past failures, work order history, drawing photos, manuals, etc.  

Step 3: Recognise the function(s) and feature(s) of the FMEA scope, to have a thorough understanding of the fundamentals and procedures of FMEA. 

Diagnosis and Analysis Stage

Step 4: Based on the function(s), identify and analyse all the equipment or component(s), in which something might fail sooner or has the potential to fail in the future. These are failure mode(s). 

Step 5: Identify the Severity Rating of different failure modes. Ask: what effect(s) or consequence(s) will the failure mode have on the asset, process or product? 

Step 6: Diagnose the potential cause(s) or mechanism(s) of the failure(s). This requires a good combination of tools and the FMEA team’s knowledge base. 

Step 7: Identify the Occurrence Rating for each potential cause. Make best educated assumptions to the likelihood of failure happening because of that cause. 

Step 8: Identify the current control(s) to avoid failure mode(s) or cause(s) occurring.  

Step 9: Determine the Detection Rating. Ask: when the failure occurs, is it obvious or invisible to the user? 

Step 10: Evaluate the risk based on FMEA Risk Priority Number (RPN). Calculate the RPN through the formula: RPN = Severity x Occurrence x Detection. Compare the FMEA RPN of each issue and prioritise problems for corrective actions. 

Action and Maintenance Stage

Step 11: Perform corrective actions, assign tasks to the right people. 

Step 12: Re-evaluate RPN rank once risk mitigation actions complete. 

Step 13: Distribute, review and update the analysis as appropriate. 

FMEA Process: One-page Infographic 

We created this one-page infographic to visualise how to perform an FMEA process. Feel free to download and utilise it for your next FMEA workshop 🙂

Related Resources:


FMEA SoftwareReliaSoft XFMEA software – facilitate your FMEA team’s work

FMEA Case StudyOptimising Fixed Plant Maintenance Strategy for a Mining Company

Document: A simplified FMEA template

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