Success Modes and Effects Analysis

An organization is likely to succeed if it understands the system that runs its business. It can then identify where it needs to make improvements and use its system to succeed. QMII help clients to develop their process-based management systems by using success modes and effects analysis (SMEA). SMEA conversely to FMEA focuses on the success areas (opportunities) the organization is trying to achieve and determining what are the potential risks to achieving them. They then taken action to address these risks. While all risks cannot be eliminated based on resource constraints, SMEA provides an opportunity for organization to prioritize the risks and take appropriate action.

To implement SMEA, top management need to analyze and document what their organization does to convert customer needs into cash (success modes). This enables them to see where waste can be eliminated by applying lean principles to achieve lean design, lean manufacturing, lean administration and lean service.This determines the key processes in the system that runs the business. The next step involves working with the process owners to analyze each of the key processes for the fulfillment of process objectives (effects analysis). This results in a flowcharted procedure for each key process.  If you’re not fond of flowcharts then any other method of documentation will do. These procedures refer to the interacting processes and supporting documents.

Competent employees, from the recruiting and training processes, are coached by their leaders to use their system to eliminate causes of waste and succeed. These systems include procedures for creating new products and new processes with inputs from successful designs (see FMEA below).

Organizations can use SMEA to build and grow the success of their organizations.

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

FMEAs during product and process design prevent failures of products and processes. A team, representing customers, designers, manufacturers, installers, users and suppliers agrees upon the rules for evaluating risk. The team works through each of the ways in which the process or product could fail (potential failure modes) and assign a score per the rules to signify the frequency and impact of each type of failure (effects analysis).

Failure modes that potentially are the most frequent or could have the biggest impact (or both!) are the highest priority. Teams remove the root causes of such failure modes to prevent their occurrence. These preventive actions make processes and products much more reliable from the beginning.

As you might expect the entire automotive industry now uses FMEA to improve reliability. Yes, not one car maker considered the sudden loss of global financing; a rare failure mode with dire consequences! Organizations that fail to use FMEA have to suffer the many losses due to incapable processes and poor products. Repeated failure may enable them to learn the hard way if they remain in business.

FMEA works best as a preventive action tool within a process-based management system (see above).

QMII facilitates failure modes and effects analysis (FMEA) and success modes and effects analysis (SMEA) for our clients.

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