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 & Executive Advisor at GoLeanSixSigma.com. For almost 20 years, she's helped leading organizations like Washington State, Cisco and GE build problem-solving muscles with Lean Six Sigma to achieve their goals.