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FMEA template

FMEA tools for Failure Mode Effects Analysis

Also known as Error Mode Effects Analysis (EMEA), 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 to design processes and products to reduce risks

FMEA Excel template

Sample FMEA example: Failure Mode and Effects Analysis FMEA form

View this PowerPoint to learn more about the sample data that you can study and play with
on the Sample worksheet of your FMEA template (download free trial)



The primary objectives of any Lean Six Sigma initiative are to

Reduce variability and risk

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis is one of the most popular Lean Six Sigma methodologies to reduce variability and reduce risk in both:

  1. the end product or service that is delivered to the customer,
  2. and the processes that make or deliver it
cartoon - risk reduction

Why FMEA analysis?

  1. Reduce development time and cost
  2. Continuously improve quality, reliability, and safety
  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


Not just one FMEA template

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

When you own your Systems2win FMEA template, you also own a full suite of templates with everything you need to create and continuously improve your DFMEAs and PFMEAs.

QFD House of Quality Excel template Six Sigma Cause and Effect Matrix Interface Matrix template Process Flow Diagram template

Voice of the Customer Requirements and Kano Analysis DMAIC Customer Segmentation Worksheet Function Requirements DVP&R template

Learn more about the entire suite of DFSS Tools, DMAIC Tools, and Standard Work Tools that make your FMEA's so much more effective.

Own all of these FMEA templates

to empower every team member

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Before you begin using your

FMEA template

Launch your team

The same way that you launch any continuous improvement team.

Gather and review your data

The data that you gather will be different for a DFMEA or a PFMEA.

Remind me again... What's the difference?

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

Personalize your FMEA...

Easily personalize your master template

using everything you already know about familiar Microsoft Excel

in a way that your personalizations can be automatically found and transferred to your new master templates every time that you upgrade.

Learn more

your leaders should have already personalized your master template for...

dropdown list
  1. Your company's default Dropdown lists (on the 'DV' sheet)

    for faster data entry, and fewer data entry mistakes.

    The FMEA template has more dropdown lists than any other Systems2win template... for things like YOUR items, processes, functions, requirements, failure modes, causes, effects, detection methods, corrective actions...

  2. Your company's default Team structure (on the 'Team' sheet)
  3. Your company's default Rating scales (on the 'Rating' sheet) 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 your user-defined levels of Severity and Occurrence.

  4. Your company's default Header fields (on the 'VC' sheet)

    Your Systems2win template has a special shared sheet that allows you to enter data in one place, and have that data populate cells in many related sheets in the workbook.

    Learn how to use it.


FMEA Video

Before you start using your FMEA template,

sometimes it's just easier to have someone walk you through a demonstration.


How to find and open your

FMEA form

Find and open your template

Find and open your your FMEA template


in the same way that you find and open your other 150+ Systems2win templates.

Excel Ribbon bar > Systems2win menu

If you don't yet own a license,
you can download your free trial now.

Save your working document

following the usual document storage and naming conventions established by your leaders

If English is not your preferred language

Switch to your language, just like every Systems2win Excel template.

Open a Blank Sheet

When you're ready to start doing your own real work...

click the button to 'Open a Blank Sheet'

Excel Ribbon > Systems2win tab > Open a Blank Sheet

This blank sheet is where you will do your real work

(not on the Sample sheet)

Systems2win menu > Open a BlankSheet

Rename your new sheet

And then in the dialog window that appears, select which type of sheet to open:

  1. FMEA

    If you choose this, then another dialog window will appear, to get further clarification of what type of FMEA. (see below)

  2. Process Flow Diagram Process Flow template

    Before creating a PFMEA, you will usually first create (and analyze) a Process Flow Diagram to identify the desired deliverables and potential sources of variation that you will then analyze and manage in your PFMEA

    You have the choice of using a stand-alone workbook for your Process Flow Diagram, or including it as a sheet within the same workbook with your PFMEA.

  3. Control Plan

    After taking initial Corrective Actions prescribed in your PFMEA...

    Control Plan template

    the next step is to use a Control Plan template to more diligently control product and process characteristics that have high chance of happening, and/or high severity consequences if they do happen.

    You have the choice of using stand-alone workbooks for your Control Plans, or including them as sheets within the same workbook with your PFMEA.

    It is not uncommon to have multiple sheets for Control Plans that differ for life cycle phases: Prototype, Pre-Launch, and Production.

FMEA - Select Type

If you chose 'FMEA', then in the next dialog window that appears, select:

  1. Type of FMEA:

    Design FMEA or Process FMEA

    What's the difference?

  2. AIAG Form F or G

    Form G has 2 extra columns for ID and Process Requirements

  3. Data in Single Language or Multiple Languages

    Learn more about features for multiple languages


Now your team is ready to start using your

FMEA template for Failure Mode and Effects Analysis

Populate the header fields at the top of the FMEA

Tip: Your Systems2win template has a special 'VC' sheet that allows you to enter data in one place, and have that data populate cells in many other sheets in the workbook.

Learn how to use it.

Complete the form; mostly left to right

Pop up help

Tip: Like every Systems2win template, simply click any gold column header for pop-up help

Also... scroll down to see 'Additional Help' in the lower section of the Sample sheet

Important: Don't merge cells!!!

To the human eye or a printer, many cells look like merged cells... but they're not.

If those were merged cells, you would lose the two most powerful benefits of using Excel for your FMEA:

  1. Filter
  2. Pivot Tables

This is the single most powerful feature of your Systems2win FMEA template. Those are not merged cells.

Rather than merging cells, instead follow the instructions in the 'Additional Help' section that you will find when you scroll down on the Sample sheet.

Learn more

FMEA Excel template

Help for each column in your FMEA

The first few columns are different for a DFMEA vs. a PFMEA.


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.

Requirements: 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.

After those first few columns, the rest of the columns are the same for either a DFMEA or PFMEA.

Potential Failure Modes

Brainstorm using these 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?


You enter one Severity code per Effect

and then before you print, publish, or analyze, always remember to 'Recalculate' and 'Fix Row Heights'

In the Systems2win menu in the Excel Ribbon bar, select 'Recalculate' and 'Fix Row Heights'

which will automatically 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?

Tip: The dropdown list is defined on the 'Team' sheet

which also serves as your Team Attendance Log (as required by ISO)

The second RPN Risk Priority Number

is calculated only for those rows that contain a Completed Action

Links to related documents

Link Icons make it easy to link to related FMEAs, videos, Control Plans, 8D's, Design Verification Plan & Review (DVP&R), Work Instructions, and any other related documents

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

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.

Link Icons

Use your Systems2win
Link Icons
to link to related documents


Optionally Link Shared Data

There are situations where it can be very useful to link data between cells (and sheets).

For example: Whenever a Control Method is superceded with a new one, the new Control Method can be instantly updated everywhere that the old one was used.

See online training for:

  1. How to link data between cells
  2. Why it's dangerous to over-use these features to auto-populate cells between related documents

    in ways that circumvent the 'human thinking' that those related documents are intended to trigger

On the 'Sample' sheet of your FMEA template

see the pink cells in the 'User9' column for examples of how to optionally link cells and concatenate linked cells.

FMEA sample link cells


The most unique feature of your

Systems2win FMEA Excel 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. (until now)

Video: How to use Excel Filter and dropdown lists

We repeat:

With your Systems2win template —

Excel's Filter and PivotTable features work!!!

How does Systems2win accomplish such a useful feature?

(not found in any other Excel FMEA template)

Download your own free trial, and see for yourself.

How to find help for 'how we do it'

When you scroll down on the Sample sheet of your FMEA template,
you will find 3 additional rows of help:

  1. 'Additional Help'

    beyond the pop-up help in the column headers

  2. 'Relationships Between Columns'

    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)

  3. 'Repeat Data'

    Clear instructions for which columns need (or do not need) repeat data, and how to do it

Like every Systems2win template, pop-up help will appear when you click any row or column header.

Live consulting and/or training is also available

from either Systems2win, or from Joe Adams of Strategic Quality, who helped to design and develop the Systems2win FMEA tools and has experience developing FMEA's for several industry-leading Fortune 500 companies.


FMEA in Multiple Languages

FMEA is all about foreseeing and preventing mistakes.

Learning Exercise:

Try using an FMEA in a language that you don't speak fluently, and see how that affects the number of mistakes that YOU make.

Headers and Help in Multiple Languages

Every Systems2win Excel template has extensive features to support multiple languages, including:

  1. the ability to click a button to instantly switch your template's row & column headers between English, German, Chinese, Spanish, Portuguese, French, etc.
  2. the ability to view any Systems2win training page in any language

Learn more about Systems2win's standard language features

Systems2win menu > Select Translations

Languages available for immediate delivery include:

Spanish: AMEF Análisis de modo y efecto de falla

Portuguese: Análise de Efeitos do Modo de Falha

Chinese: 失效模式效应分析

French: AMDE : Analyse des modes de défaillances et de leurs effets

German: Auswirkungsanalyse

Switch languages

Easily switch between

Drop down lists in multiple languages

How to create drop down lists in multiple languages

Data in Multiple Languages

Your FMEA template goes even further...

It 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

(not just the headers)

FMEA - language of data

How to edit your data in multiple languages

In your FMEA template, scroll to the right, and you will find the 'Language Translations' section.

You can make unlimited copies of those columns — to support unlimited language translations.

Notice that each translation section has only a sub-set of the columns found on the primary FMEA.

Columns containing numbers and links are edited on the primary FMEA itself.

Those columns that contain words must be edited in the 'Language Translations' section.

If a column existing in the 'Language Translations' section...

then you must first do your editing in the 'Primary Language' section

Your Systems2win template is designed so that when you enter data in the 'Primary Language' section, it will automatically also affect the borders and cell formats
for the main FMEA form, and all other Language Translations.

If a column does not exist in the 'Language Translations' section...

(because it contains numbers or links, which are the same for all languages)

FMEA - language of data

then you edit those columns in the main form.

To see your selected language in the main FMEA form…

In any Language Translation section… select the pink cell containing the name of your desired Language, then click the button to 'Select Language of Data'


Before your Print or Publish

Fix Row Heights

Fix Row Heights

Because different languages have different numbers of characters to communicate the same information, it is a real challenge to try to find the correct row height.

In the Systems2win menu in the Excel Ribbon bar,
select the button to 'Fix Row Heights', and notice what happens.


FMEA - recalculate

And (whether or not you are using multiple languages),
before you analyze, print, or publish your data,
always remember to first click the button to 'Recalculate'

which will automatically correct the calculations
for 'Max' Severity per Failure Mode and 'Low' Detection per Cause

Tip: On the 'Sample' sheet,

the 'Fix Row Heights' and 'Recalculate' buttons only work on the sample data for 'Multiple Languages'.

(which is found when you scroll down on the Sample sheet)


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

Sample FMEA Control Plan example

Learn more about the Systems2win Control Plan template

Control Characteristics and Methods

The 'Control Characteristics' drop down list is found on the Control Plan and FMEA templates,
and is also shared for 'Sources of Variation' on the Process Flow Diagram.

'Control Characteristics' are closely related (but often not identical to) 'Potential Failure Modes' on the PFMEA.

Your lists should consider control parameters for both the product/service and the process.

Any time that the design changes

you need to update all documents related to your FMEA

For a DFMEA, this might include...

related FMEA's, Design Verification Plan, QFD, checklists, etc.

For a PFMEA, this might include...

related FMEA's, the Control Plan, work instructions, audit checklists, etc.

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Extra Credit

for over-achievers

With the training above, you know everything you need to successfully use your FMEA template,

but some people want more...

so here's some more (advanced) FMEA training.


Suggested Reading and Resources for

FMEA Failure Mode Effects Analysis

One way to support the free training provided on this site is to purchase your books here

To see the links to suggested readings, you might need to change your Ad Blocker to allow ads on this page

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

Live training and consulting is available from Joe Adams of Strategic Quality,

who has served on the FMEA design teams for several Fortune 500 companies, and helped to design and develop the Systems2win FMEA template.


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)


Inter-related FMEA's

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 FMEA'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 FMEA's.

Hierarchy DFMEA Hiearchy FMEA

Illustrations courtesy of Strategic Quality


The Sentencing Technique

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

FMEA Cause, Mode, 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)

  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.


How to copy data from one FMEA to another

(Perhaps you want to migrate data from your old less-capable FMEA to your new Systems2win FMEA?)

Don't use regular Paste

(which brings unwanted formatting, and can corrupt your new document)

Use Paste Special > Values

See more tips for data migration

How to create a new FMEA from an existing or master FMEA

Product Family Matrix template

Some teams choose to create and maintain a master FMEA

that is then used to copy sections to other FMEA's

using Excel's Filter capabilities

perhaps filtering based on Product Families that you define using your Product Family Matrix template

Tip: You can't use regular Copy & Paste, because it will copy & paste all of the filtered hidden cells.

Instead, you need to copy and paste Visible Cells Only

How to maintain Version Control

Use the Revision Log worksheet

RevLog sheet

How to insert an Action Plan or To Do sheet

Systems2win menu > Insert Sheet

then select

Action List, To Do List, Bowling Chart, or Gantt Summary Milestone Chart

Insert Sheet

Three-Path Development Process

Another training illustration that you might find useful...

courtesy of Joe Adams...

FMEA Development Path - How To Do It


How to personalize your

Excel FMEA template

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 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 sheet 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 master template each 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 FMEA's)

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These FMEA templates come with an entire suite of DFSS templates and Lean Six Sigma templates


to empower every team member to improve every process





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