Failure Analysis: What Went Wrong, and Why?

Failure isn't just an event, but a process within a process. Failure analysis is the process of analyzing end-to-end processes and developing an assessment of a failure's impact on the process and how it can be fixed so it won't happen again.

The introduction to the form explains the analysis process in detail, with clear examples.

The sample form has the following information -

  • exact phase and procedure failing in a process, and its impact on current and future processes
  • lost value due to failure
  • resolution concept including costs and time
  • ROI related to implementation of rules and safeguards

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Interesting, but misses some of the critical factors. Some failures are one-off, simply due to unforeseeable events, and it is important when analysing failure to rapidly identify those and not waste too much time on detailed analysis of something you couldn't prevent, couldn't reasonably plan for, and will almost certainly never happen again in a similar enough way to make any lessons learned valuable. Another example is where a failure was a single individual's dumb mistake. There may be some lessons to learn in governance, quality, selection of resource etc but there is little value in actually analysing the mistake itself - you cannot legislate against stupidity!


Great tool. Rick Crowson


Interesting... This might be useful. There is an error in the Example sheet? The Total Improvement for 1st Year in ROI calculation should be $119,700 and not "1 Year."


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