How to get Better Causes in Your PFMEA Using Control

One fact of the Process FMEA (Failure Mode Effects Analysis) is that there is always room for improvement. Consulting has shown that there are some common areas in which most people have a little room for improvement, and some people have a lot of room for improvement. 

This is in the cause of failure. 

When we look at the cause of failure, one of the common themes in FMEAs that are underperforming, are the causes are not something that they have control over.  

Let’s break down that idea a little further. 

The PFMEA has a cause that you do not have control over. 

So, what does it mean if you have no control over your causes? 

You cannot prevent it. 

You cannot prevent economic meltdown. You cannot prevent the vendor from sending you bad material, but yet it’s in your PFMEA which automatically puts you in a position of being powerless.  

What you want to think about here when it comes to causes: 

  • Causes that are not actual (actionable) are called complaints.  
  • Complaints arise when a cause is not actual and we don’t have the authority to change them (they are outside of our control.) 

What happens if all your causes are complaints? 

The PFMEA becomes a passive document or a large list of things that you can’t actually engage or control. As a result, it is just no more than a list of things that might, could, and should happen to you. 

One of the quickest ways to improve the actionability of your PFMEA is to look at the causes that are there. Separate those that you have control over from those that you do not. That will sort out exactly where you may have a passive, less than powerful, stance in your PFMEA and risk mitigation. 

Check out the rest of our blog if you want to learn more about Incoming Materials, IATF, Core Tools, Aerospace Systems, and much more.  

Stay Ahead of the Curve

Subscribe to our newsletter.