The  FMEA Quality  Lever – Where  To  Put  The  Effort

If you apply the energy sooner, or further away from the introduction of the product or service, you will get much more leverage for your effort. Waiting to make the improvements or fixes after production starts will require a lot more effort.


In the above diagram, the further upstream you make changes, the more impact you will make.

Where  To  Spend  The  Effort? — Total  Time  Spent

In the sequential approach to product development, more time is typically spent on debugging the product afterit is released to the market.  In  the concurrent approach, more time is spent in the up-front planning.  However, there will usually be much less time spent later on the post-production problem solving.


Spending more planning man hours up front does not mean that the product release time is pushed back. The cross-over point of these two overlaid graphs does not mean anything.  Q Which approach has less area under the curve? Why? A The concurrent approach very often results in 20-40% fewer man hours of total development time, due to the effectiveness of the up-front planning.

The main purpose of FMEA: Besides making customers happier by minimizing  potential failures, identifying necessary changes early, & prioritizing improvement  efforts, FMEA also provides:

  • A formal record of reliability and safety analysis ← The completed FMEA should become part of the design package.
  • A starting point in the preparation of field service policies ← And for preparing trouble-shooting guides.
  • A starting point for a preventive maintenance data base ← From the resulting prioritized preventive actions.
  • An indicator for test point location and sequencing ← From the identified
    causes, & also from the resulting prioritized preventive actions.
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