In Six Sigma DMAIC methodology, most traditional Six Sigma consultants / training instructors advocate the use of FMEA ( typically Process FMEA ) in Measure / Analyze phase. The project leaders were normally taught on how to use FMEA to identify and prioritize the critical potential failures.
In fact, a few advanced Six Sigma consultants / training instructors proposed FMEA to be used in Improve phase where a new process been introduced. As a result, it is necessary to assess and mitigate the risk of potential failure ( if any ) on new process.
It is nothing wrong or right to which project phases ( Measure vs Analyze vs Improve ) be used. Personally, I strongly agree that FMEA should be used to tackle potential failure in new / improved process area as risk level of potential failures have not been explored.
In this blog, one common overlooked area to be discussed here.
The area where most project leaders overlooked was the FMEA process, where it was NOT completed as it intended.
The FMEA process was started with Process steps>Potential Failure Mode>Effects>Potential Cause>Current Control> Scoring for Severity/Occurrence/Detection>RPN and stopped. There was no “close loop” where further actions i.e. corrective actions needed to be taken in response to “high risk” potential failure items and final assessment of effectiveness on action taken by evaluating the RPN score again.
Below is illustration showing on how FMEA process be completed ( close loop ) until significant improvement taken to address the high risk item.