Six Sigma Tools for continuous quality improvement


FMEA template

Excel template for Failure Mode Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Also known as Error Mode Effects Analysis (EMEA), or Design DFMEA, or Process PFMEA

animated - FMEA what could go wrong?

Why do we need an FMEA?

What could possibly go wrong?

What is an FMEA?

Failure Mode Effects Analysis is a systematic way to anticipate problems
and design processes and products to reduce risks.

Empower your people

The FMEA template comes with the DMAIC Lean Six Sigma templates,
an entire suite of DFSS tools to empower your people
with everything they need to do Design for Six Sigma — right.

FMEA Excel template

Sample FMEA example: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis Excel template

The most unique feature of the Systems2win FMEA Template:

Excel's Filter and PivotTable features work.

Why are Filter and PivotTables so important?

When you need to create a new FMEA for a new product that is similar to an existing product...

You could simply Filter for what is similar,
and then use that as the starting point to create your new FMEA.

Or use PivotTables to slice & dice your data in even more useful ways.

The trouble is that neither Filter nor PivotTables will work in Excel
if your home-grown FMEA template uses either:

  1. Merged cells, or
  2. Data in the top cell, and then no data in the other cells beneath it
    (using borders to look like a merged cell)

And every Industrial Engineer knows just how impossible it is to avoid merged cells in an FMEA template.



We repeat:

With your Systems2win template —
Excel's Filter and PivotTable features work.


How did Systems2win accomplish such an amazing (and useful) thing?

Download your own free trial, and see for yourself.

More Features of the Systems2win FMEA Template

That's just one (huge) difference between Systems2win and homemade FMEA templates. Here are some more...


When you first open your template, a pop-up window will ask if you are creating a (Design) DFMEA,
or a (Process) PFMEA — and will automatically format your worksheet correctly.

AIAG Compliant Forms F or G

Root Cause template

When you first open your template, the same pop-up window will ask if you want
AIAG Form F, or Form G that has 2 extra columns for ID and Process Requirements

Integrate with Root Cause Fishbone

Instantly export already-known root causes to the Root Cause Fishbone Diagram template

so your team can then brainstorm other potential problems
that should be included in your FMEA

User-defined Class Code table

FMEA Class Codes

Yes, you can also use RPN Risk Priority Numbers,
but most experts now prefer to use Class Codes
to call attention to alert conditions using user-defined levels of Severity and Occurrence.

Automatic formatting of repeat data

Merging cells create a lot of problems in Excel:

  1. Filter doesn't work right
  2. Pivot tables don't work right
  3. You have to unmerge cells in order to insert, delete, or move rows
  4. Then you forget to re-merge them — or your formatting gets messed up
  5. Frequent merging and unmerging can cause the entire workbook to become corrupted

So the new FMEA template now has special features that eliminate all of the problems of merged cells.

In some (well-marked) columns, you can now copy & paste identical data in multiple cells,
and it will automatically:

  1. White out the repeat data, and format the borders so that it LOOKS to the human eye like merged cells
  2. Be smart enough to know when repeat data really should be visible
    (because the data happens to be the same for the next bordered line item)
  3. Allow you to easily use Filter and Pivot Tables — with NO merged cells !!!
    (see 'Advanced Training' on Help sheet for how to create new FMEAs from a Master)

And if your data is in multiple languages,
then when you enter your repeat data for your Primary Language,
the borders are correctly formatted for the main FMEA form and all other language translations.

Data in Multiple Languages

FMEA is all about foreseeing and preventing mistakes.

You try not making mistakes when you're reading a non-native language.

Like all other Systems2win Excel templates...

click a button, and now the row & column headers and most help for your template
are in German, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, or any language that you choose.

Unlike most other Systems2win templates...

FMEA Language of Data

The FMEA template has special features
to easily maintain your DATA in multiple languages.

Click the 'Select Language for Data' button,
and now the DATA in your FMEA form displays your chosen language.

Excellent FMEA training

  • Quick pop-up help when you click any column header
  • Useful online training — to guide you through the 'how to' process
  • Sample worksheet includes 'Additional Training' for each column
  • Sample worksheet includes clear explanation of how each column is related to its neighboring columns
    (which is one of the most common sources of confusion when using an FMEA template)
  • Clarification of the relationships between the many documents and methods that can optionally be used
  • Live consulting and/or training are available — either on-site or by web conference
    from Joe Adams of Strategic Quality, who helped to design and develop the Systems2win FMEA template
    and has experience developing FMEAs for several industry-leading Fortune 500 companies.

Features common to all Systems2win Excel templates

Like every Systems2win Excel template, your FMEA xls template is fully editable and easily personalized
using everything you already know about familiar Excel —

and comes with a sample FMEA sheet containing extensive online help and training videos —
so your team members can devote their valuable time to actually performing analysis and problem solving —
rather than wasting time “inventing our own FMEA form”.

dropdown list

Choose an item
from a dropdown list
for faster data entry
and fewer mistakes

Bookmark = DFSS

Not just one template

Six Sigma templates

The right Six Sigma tools
to Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve, and Control
the quality of ANY process

When you purchase the Six Sigma templates, you get a full suite of templates with everything you need to create and continuously improve your (now-much-more-professional) DFMEAs and PFMEAs.

Full suite of DFSS tools for all steps of the FMEA process

Even if your company already owns and uses some other FMEA software...
you still might benefit greatly from all of the other Design for Six Sigma templates that are used in the processes of creating DFMEAs, QFDs, and PFMEAs.

Note: These same tools are used for Design for Six Sigma, Design for Manufacturability, Design for Lean Manufacturing, DMADV, and any other similar buzzwords that some author coins in the future.

Design for Six Sigma tools

Your Systems2win templates come with the entire suite of DFSS templates that you need for FMEA and QFD

Failure Modes and Effects Analysis

Also known as EMEA Error Modes and Effects Analysis
Design DFMEA and Process PFMEA

Six Sigma tool to anticipate problems, and design processes and products to reduce risks

Download free trial FMEA template

FMEA Excel template

Control Plan

To more diligently control the most severe or likely risks


Learn more about the Control Plan template

FMEA Control Plan Excel template

Root Cause Analysis

also known as Cause and Effect Diagram, or
Ishikawa Root Cause Analysis Fishbone Diagram

To identify the root causes of a problem, and brainstorm creative ideas for solving them

Download free trial Fishbone Diagram

Ishikawa Root Cause Analysis Fishbone Diagram
Fishbone Diagram
more info

Brainstorming & Affinity Group Tool

Six sigma template to brainstorm ideas, then quickly organize them into affinity groups to stimulate even more ideas

Brainstorming and Affinity Grouping Excel template

Thought Map

also known as Thought Map Relations Diagram

To identify root causes of a complex, nonlinear problem.
(Use a Cause and Effect Fishbone Diagram to identify root causes
of less complex, linear problems.)

Thought Map Relations Diagram

8D Problem Solving

also known as Corrective Action Report

To provide a systematic way for a team to resolve a problem that has uncertain root causes — in a way that systematically ensures that root causes have been identified and verified — and that permanent corrective actions are validated for effectiveness and instituted in a way that prevents the problem from ever recurring or escaping again.

8D template
8D Report

Corrective Action Request

also known as Supplier Corrective Action

The Supplier Corrective Action Report template does not pre-suppose that all of the rigid formality of the 8D process will be required. This simple Word template is structured as a one-page letter that simply requests the supplier to deal with a non-conformance issue.

Corrective Action template
Corrective Action

SIPOC Diagram

Use the SIPOC template to identify and eliminate wastes of any kind: hazardous wastes and emissions, scrap, energy, packaging...

Download free trial SIPOC template

SIPOC Diagram Excel template

Process Flow Diagram

Prior to creating a PFMEA —
use the Process Flow Diagram to identify Sources of Variation, and desired Deliverables (ideal Functions) for each Process Step.

Process Flow Diagram template
Process Flow Diagram


aka Parameter Diagram

Prior to creating an FMEA — use the p diagram to analyze Inputs and Outputs and Noise Factors and Control Factors that can affect performance of desired Ideal Functions, and minimize Error States.

P-Diagram template
P-Diagram template

Interface Matrix

Prior to creating a DFMEA — use the Interface Matrix to identify and clarify interfaces between environment, systems, sub-systems, and components that are beneficial or detrimental to functionality.

Also provides P-Diagram input/outputs and noise factors

Interface Matrix template

Function/Requirements worksheet

aka Item/Function worksheet

To identify and clarify Functions and corresponding Requirements prior to completing the Function and Requirements columns of the FMEA form

Item/Function workshet

Characteristic Matrix

aka Product Characteristics Matrix

When creating a PFMEA — identify process steps that can compromise characteristics of the product or service that are noticeable and important to the customer.

Characteristic Matrix template

Design Verification Plan and Report


Formalized testing of product or service to ensure compliance with all requirements.

DVP&R template

House of Quality
Quality Functional Deployment Matrix

One of the most sophisticated quality improvement tools — to provide a guiding structure for a cross-functional product development team to rapidly design and deploy new products and services

Download free trial QFD template

QFD House of Quality Excel template
House of Quality
Excel template

Cause and Effect Matrix

A simpler quality improvement tool than the QFD — with a similar objective:
To identify the few process input variables that provide the greatest opportunity to improve the key process outputs

Video: Intro to QFD and Cause & Effect MatrixVideo

Six Sigma Cause and Effect Matrix

Customer Segmentation Worksheet

Quality improvement template to identify and focus attention upon
the sub-segments of customers that generate the most value
from each product or service

DMAIC Customer Segmentation Worksheet

Voice of the Customer
Data Collection Worksheet

To plan and manage the collection of Six Sigma customer data — from existing company data, listening posts, surveys, interviews, point-of-use observation, and more

Voice of the Customer template

Voice of the Customer
Requirements Translation and Kano Analysis

Quality control template to translate potentially vague customer comments into measurable functional requirements — thereby strengthening your team's ability to design and deliver products and services that truly delight your customers

Voice of the Customer Requirements and Kano Analysis

Bookmark = Training

FMEA Training
& Demo Videos

FMEA Video & Training

Additional training
relevant to this template

The Sample and Help worksheets of every template
always contain training relevant to THAT template


Also see the rest of the Six Sigma tools
that come bundled with your FMEA template







Make sure your sound is on
Video Help

Training Video: FMEA
(Failure Mode Effects Analysis)



The primary objectives of any Lean Six Sigma initiative are to

Reduce variability and reduce risk

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is one of the most popular Lean Six Sigma methodologies
to reduce variability and reduce risk in both the end product or service that is delivered to the customer,
and the processes that make or deliver it.

FMEA analysis is used to:

  1. Reduce development time and cost to Initially design any system, product, or process
  2. Continuously improve the quality, reliability, and safety of any system, product, or process
  3. Anticipate quality problems, and take actions to minimize risks
  4. Prevent recurrence of problems surfaced though 8D problem solving and Corrective Action Reports
  5. Prioritize risk reduction efforts
  6. Assess the effectiveness of attempts to control variability
  7. Improve customer satisfaction

What's the difference between FMEA & EMEA?

Some systems and processes are more focused on “errors” rather than “failures”.
The concepts are identical, even when the title changes to Error Mode and Effects Analysis (EMEA).

Your Systems2win Excel template can be easily personalized with the label of your choice.

What's the difference between DFMEA & PFMEA?

Although the same Systems2win template can be used for either a Design FMEA or a Process FMEA,
there are substantial differences in when and how they are used. (as explained below)

Are there more?

Yes. The same FMEA template can be used for Concept, Software, Tools, and Environmental FMEA.


DFMEA (Design) PFMEA (Process)
Initiated early in the design process,
and completed before production design is released
Initiated early for feasibility study,
and completed before tooling for production
Serve as a living document, being updated as changes happen, perhaps long after initial completion Serve as a living document, being updated as changes happen, perhaps long after initial completion
Reduces risks of failure in the design process Reduces risks of failure in production processes
Helps to objectively evaluate functional requirements and design alternatives Helps to thoroughly identify and evaluate process functions, requirements, and alternatives
Identify and minimize potential failure modes and their effects early in the design process Identify and evaluate potential product and process failure modes, and their effects on customers and the process itself
Any process failure modes that can't be eliminated in the DFMEA get passed to the PFMEA If possible design changes are identified that might reduce process risk — then DFMEA gets involved again
Produce a prioritized list of potential failure modes —
ranked by their effect on the customer
Prioritize the process variables to focus upon —
to reduce occurrence and increase detection
Provide a format for identifying issues, and recommending and tracking actions Establish priorities for preventive and corrective actions and controls
Accumulate lessons learned — for future design changes, and design of similar products Accumulate lessons learned — for future process changes, and production of similar products
Multiple inter-related DFMEAs — to consider every aspect of design (from component to system) Multiple inter-related PFMEAs — to consider every aspect of production, (from receiving to shipping), at every level (from component to system)

Bookmark = related

Inter-related FMEAs

The V Model illustration below helps to visually depict the inter-related engineering cycle.

DFMEAs (and related documents) are used in the left side of the V.
PFMEAs (and related documents) are used in the right side of the V.


Illustration courtesy of Strategic Quality

Are Failure Modes, Effects, and Causes getting confusing?

"The potential failure mode may also be the cause of a potential failure mode in a higher level, or be (or lead to) the effect of one in a lower level component." AIAG FMEA Manual, Rev 4

Effects of lower level Component & Sub-system FAME's
are often Modes of higher level System and Sub-system FMEA's.

And DFMEA (design) Causes often relate to PFMEA (process) Failure Modes.

If your team starts wanting to use redundant items in your dropdown lists
for Failure Modes, Effects, and Causes...
then you probably need to better define the scope of your inter-related FMEAs.

Hierarchy DFMEA Hiearchy FMEA

Illustrations courtesy of Strategic Quality

Bookmark = sentencing

The Sentencing Technique

For any level of FMEA, the cause is of the failure mode and never of the effect.

To guarantee proper classification of Cause, Failure Mode, and Effect...
use the Sentencing Technique to relate cause back to failure mode, not back to effect.

FMEA Cause, Mode, Effect
  1. State the failure mode.
  2. Ask "what could be the result of that failure mode?" — the answer will be the effect.
  3. Ask "what could that failure mode be
    due to?" — the answer will be the cause.

FMEA Development Path - How To Do It

How to do it —

the FMEA Development Process

Assemble cross-functional team Assemble cross-functional team
Gather and review information to understand the characteristics and functional requirements of the systems, sub-systems, and components being designed Gather and review information to understand the functional requirements to produce the deliverable product or service

Source documents might include:

  • Similar DFMEAs
  • Boundary Diagrams
    to clarify scope boundary, and the physical and logical relationships between components
  • Parameter P-Diagram -
    to analyze inputs and outputs,
    and factors that can affect performance
  • Drawings & schematics
  • Bills of Materials
  • Interface Matrix and/or Design Matrix —
    to identify and clarify system interfaces
  • Function/Requirements worksheet
  • Function Tree
  • QFD
  • 8Ds, complaints, warranty claims, and other sources of quality and reliability history
  • Tip: You can use the 8D for
    Failure Prevention Analysis (FPA)

Source documents might include:

  • The DFMEA
  • Similar PFMEAs
  • Process Flow Diagram
    showing the flow of the product or service through the process, including inputs, outputs, and sources of variation
  • Parameter P-Diagrams —
    to analyze inputs and outputs,
    and factors that can affect performance
  • Drawings and other design documents
  • Bill of Process and/or routings
    (perhaps from similar processes)
  • Function/Requirements worksheet
  • Characteristic Matrix
    to identify which process operations affect which product characteristics
  • 8Ds, complaints, warranty claims, and other sources of quality and reliability history

Your leaders should have already personalized your master template for:

  • Your company's default Dropdown lists (on the DV worksheet)
  • Your company's default Team structure (on the Team worksheet)
  • Your company's default Rating scales (on the Rating worksheet)
  • Your company's default Header fields (on the VC worksheet)

Complete the header information
at the top of the DFMEA

Complete the header information
at the top of the PFMEA
Pop up help

Complete the form — mostly left to right

Click the gold column headers for pop-up help —
and scroll down to see Additional Help
in the lower section of the Sample worksheet

DFMEA: First column = Item

Enter Item number and description

The first row of a new Item or Process is a visual section break.
There should be no data in that row for any other column.

PFMEA: First column = Process Step

Enter Process Step number and description

Function: DFMEA:
What is this item supposed to do?

Start with an action verb.

Function: PFMEA:
What is this step in the process supposed to do?

Start with an action verb.

Requirement: DFMEA

Measurable parameters, specifications, or characteristics that the Function must deliver.

PFMEA Form F — has a single 'Requirements' column.

PFMEA Form G — has a separate column for Process Requirements, so use the 'Requirements' column for Product Requirements.

Potential Failure Modes:

Brainstorm using 4 Thought Starters:
1) No function
2) Partial, excessive, or degraded function over time
3) Intermittent function
4) Unintended function

Potential Failure Effects

When it fails in this way, what are the potential effects experienced by...

the end customer? production, safety, regulations, other systems, subsystems, components?

Severity — You enter 1 Severity code per Effect,
and when you click the Recalculate button,
it will auto-calculate the Max Severity code per Failure Mode.

Before you print, publish, or analyze —
always remember to click the Recalculate button —
to update the values for 'Max' Severity per Failure Mode and 'Low' Detection per Potential Cause.

FMEA Class Codes

Classification Code

Is auto-populated based on the table that you define on the Rating sheet

Use Class Codes (not RPN),
to determine when Action is required.

There is no threshold RPN value that requires or excuses Action.

Prevention and Detection Control Methods — that are currently being used to prevent or detect:
1) the Failure Mode
2) the Cause of the Failure Mode

Actions Recommended — to improve Prevention or Detection

Top row per Cause can never be blank. Can be "None"

Action is required unless Class = 1

FMEA Team worksheet

Who is Responsible?

The dropdown list is defined on the Team worksheet —
which also serves as your Team Attendance Log (as required by ISO)

The second Risk Priority Number (RPN)

is calculated only for those rows that contain a Completed Action


Use the cell above the gold headers to link to documents that are related to the entire FMEA
(not just specific line items)

Documents such as Control Plans, 8D's, Design Verification Plan & Review (DVP&R), other FMEA's, etc

User Fields

See the Sample sheet for examples of User Fields that can make your FMEA far more valuable for analyzing your data using Excel's familiar features for Filter and Pivot Tables.

Any time that the design changes — update all related documents — including all FMEAs, Design Verification Plan, QFD, checklists, etc. Any time that the design or process changes — update all documents related to the process — including all FMEAs, the Control Plan, work instructions, audit checklists, etc.


Bookmark = ControlPlan

FMEA Control Plan Excel template

After taking initial Corrective Actions prescribed in the PFMEA,
the next step is to use a Control Plan to more diligently control product and process characteristics that have high Severity, Occurrence, and/or Risk Priority Number (RPN).

Control Plan Excel template

More FMEA examples

Learn more about the Systems2win Control Plan template

Bookmark = personalize

How to personalize your FMEA template

This training is for templates released May 2012 or later.
If you have older templates, these features will become available when you upgrade.

Before distributing your master FMEA template, your leaders should have already personalized it.
(as well as the Control Plan, P-Diagram, Process Flow Diagram, and all of the other templates used in the various stages of DFMEA and PFMEA development)

In addition to the standard instructions for how to personalize your Systems2win templates,
here are some additional personalization features unique to your FMEA template...

Personalize your dropdown lists

Dropdown list

User-defined dropdown lists dramatically reduce data entry errors —
thereby making Filter so much more reliable when you want to filter and analyze your list

The FMEA template has more dropdown lists than any other Excel template, with lists for Item/Process, Function, Requirement, Process Requirement, Failure Mode, Cause, Effect, Prevention Method, Detection Method, Action, and more.

Your leaders should have already personalized the DV sheet in your master template with YOUR company's typical data — and then you as the document Author can easily add additional items to each list for things that are unique to YOUR working document.

Personalize your user-defined header fields

Use the VC worksheet to personalize the fields at the top of the document —
so that YOUR template requires users to enter the data needed by YOUR company.

(In a way that your personalized user-defined header fields are automatically found and transferred to your new template every time that you upgrade)

Personalize your rating scales

FMEA Class Codes

On the Rating sheet, you can personalize your rating criteria using User Substitutions —
in the same way that you can personalize text in ANY Systems2win template.

And you can also enter your own Class Code numbers in the Class Code table — knowing that your Class Codes will be automatically found and transferred every time you upgrade.

And you can even overwrite the 3 blue Detection columns — which will also be automatically transferred each time you upgrade.

Use your Customization Log

All of the above personalizations will be automatically found and transferred every time your upgrade your master templates.

If you make any other changes
(that won't be automatically found and transferred every time that you upgrade),
then be sure to use your Customization Log — to jot down a quick reminder to make those same changes to your new template each time you upgrade.

(But it should be a short list, because the Systems2win Personalization Upgrade Utility will automatically find and transfer most common personalizations)


Your leaders should have already personalized your master template with all of the above —
and then you (as the Author of YOUR working document),
can make further personalizations unique to your working document —
including changes to any of the above, and...

Personalize your team roles

FMEA Team worksheet

On the Team worksheet, define your team — including Roles, Responsibilities, contact information, and the Team Codes (which will appear in the dropdown lists on the main FMEA form).

You shouldn't need to personalize anything about the Attendance Log — which is already pre-formatted to track the total number of meetings and total number of hours in meetings for each Team Member (in compliance with ISO requirements).

Personalize your Failure Modes, Effects, and Causes

Failure Modes for one level of FMEA might be Effects or Causes at another level.

Therefore, it is impossible for your master FMEA to come with pre-defined Failure Modes, Effects, and Causes that will be correct for every level. So it is up to your team to use the Sentencing Technique to get them right for YOUR FMEA. (See training for Inter-Related FMEAs)

Bookmark = Reading

Suggested Reading and Resources


You can also search the internet to download the free AIAG FMEA manual.

Personalized training and consulting is available from Joe Adams of Strategic Quality,
who helped to design and develop the Systems2win FMEA template.

These FMEA templates come with all the other Six Sigma tools



and you can empower every team member
with an enterprise license for unlimited users








Download free trial
FMEA template



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free trial templates

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Switch languages

Easily switch between


Languages available for immediate delivery include:

  • Spanish:
    AMEF Análisis de modo y efecto de falla
  • Portuguese:
    Análise de Efeitos do Modo de Falha
  • Chinese:
  • French:
    AMDE : Analyse des modes de défaillances
    et de leurs effets
  • German: Auswirkungsanalyse
  • Arabic: تحليل آثار طريقة الفشل












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