criteria for analysis

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis take a process or product/service and break it down into its components or steps, to evaluate problems and their impact. These can expose problems that have been experienced or potential problems that could happen. Using the FMEA analysis, an organization can reduce the waste costs, steps and defects, improve quality and reliability.

Once a problem is identified, and its root causes highlighted the FMEA uses three criteria to provide a Risk Priority Number (RPN). This Risk Priority Number is worked out by multiplying the Severity, occurrence and detection rankings together. The higher the RPN, the higher the priority an organization should place on that failure mode to correct analysis

All of the FMEA criteria scales of Severity, Occurrence and Detection rank from 1 to 10. The following tables give examples of how the ranks apply to a failure within an organization.

Severity Ranking


FMEA Severity Ranking Chart

Occurrence Ranking


FMEA Occurrence Ranking Chart

Detection Ranking


FMEA Detection Ranking Chart


systems operationsOnce these criteria are applied to a failure mode and the RPN calculated the failure could then be moved to the next step in the FMEA process – generating Corrective Actions. Once corrective actions are complete, the failure modes need to be reanalyzed for their severity, occurrence and detection again to ensure improvements have been made.


Looking for help to review your FMEA process or create a new one? Contact McDonald Consulting Group to help. We will help you evaluate your needs, and come up with the most cost-effective solution with easy implementation for your organization. McDonald Consulting Group offers both in-house classes (which may be customized) and public offerings.