skip to Main Content

No, they are not the same and here’s why:

FMEA’s are specifically for reducing risk, and being proactive around mitigating risk.

Process Walks are more around building knowledge about the current state, identifying process issues, waste and opportunities for improvement.

Process Walks have a broader application than FMEA. Here is a Process Walk Interview sheet you can use. You likely would not ask a lot of those questions for each step in the process if you’re just interested in reducing risk.

Tracy O'Rourke

Tracy is a Managing Partner at, the co-author of The Problem-Solver’s Toolkit and co-host of the Just-in-Time Cafe. She is also a Lean Six Sigma Green Belt Instructor at UC San Diego and teaches in San Diego State University’s Lean Enterprise Program. For almost 20 years, she has helped leading organizations like Washington State, Charles Schwab and GE build problem-solving muscles.