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I would try using an agenda with timing attached for each FMEA item. Then appoint a timekeeper to alert the team when they need to move from analysis of failure modes, and start thinking about preventive measures and contingency plans. If the team agrees up front on appropriate timing, they’ll be more likely to come out of the “rabbit hole” when time is up.

Elisabeth Swan

Elisabeth is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. 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.