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What is a Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (FMEA)?

Failure Modes & Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a risk management tool that identifies and quantifies the influence of potential failures in a system.

FMEA analyzes potential failures using three criteria: 1) Occurrence (failure cause and frequency), 2) Severity (determine failure mode and its effect), and 3) Detection (likelihood of failure detection).

FMEA Template


To learn how to use FMEA and how to apply Lean or Six Sigma, check out our Free Lean Six Sigma Yellow Belt TrainingGreen Belt Training or Lean Training.


Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner & Executive Advisor at For over 25 years, she's helped leading organizations like Amazon, Charles Schwab and Starwood Hotels & Resorts build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.