FMEA to the nth degree
We have been on a bit a tear (or rant) about FMEAs. We suggest the FMEA documentation is part of the core of a design process. The ultimate approach we have seen is that of Michael Anleitner (The Power of Deduction: Failure Modes and Effects Analysis for Design, Quality Press, 2010), which uses functional analysis system technique (FAST) among others to greatly amplify the capability of the FMEA to eliminate mistakes before they happen.
Another way to improve our likelihood of proceeding without failure on a variety of fronts is to use the FMEA approach rigorously in all areas: purchasing, accounting, manufacturing, engineering, human resources, and any other department we may have. If it works for manufacturing, why wouldn’t we expect it to work in other venues? We can even develop an FMEA for FMEAs, since many of the drawbacks are well known.
We at Value Transformation LLC use a variety of tools, some of them quite simple to use, to improve and progress in our own business as well as the training and consulting we provide for other businesses. Inspired use of familiar tools shortens the learning duration and moves our clients to desired aims much more quickly.