FMEA: Failure Mode And Effects Analysis

FMEA is a structured approach used to identify potential failures, evaluate their impacts, and prioritize corrective actions. It aids in preventing failures, improving processes, and enhancing overall product quality and safety.

1. Define the Process (DP)FMEA begins by defining the specific process, system, or product to be analyzed.– Clearly define the scope and boundaries of the process under evaluation. – Identify the objectives and goals of conducting the FMEA. – Establish the team responsible for the analysis.– Ensures a clear understanding of what the FMEA aims to achieve and what is being analyzed. – Sets the context and expectations for the analysis process.– Analyzing the manufacturing process of a product. – Evaluating the software development process for a software project.Process Definition Example: Defining the manufacturing process of an automobile engine.
2. Identify Failure Modes (FM)Identify potential failure modes, which are the ways in which the process or system could fail.– Brainstorm and list all the possible failure modes or failure scenarios related to the process. – Consider both internal and external factors that could lead to failures. – Use tools such as flowcharts, process maps, and checklists to aid in identifying failure modes.– Provides a comprehensive list of potential failure scenarios that need to be evaluated. – Helps in understanding the various ways in which the process can break down or deviate from its intended outcome.– Identifying failure modes in an aircraft engine design. – Listing potential software bugs and issues in a software development process.Failure Modes Example: Identifying potential failure modes in a food manufacturing process, such as contamination or equipment malfunction.
3. Assess Severity (S)Evaluate the severity or impact of each identified failure mode in terms of its consequences and risks.– Assign a severity rating to each failure mode on a predefined scale (e.g., 1 to 10) based on its potential impact. – Consider the consequences of each failure mode on safety, customer satisfaction, compliance, and other relevant factors. – Document the rationale behind the severity ratings.– Helps prioritize and focus on the most critical failure modes that pose the highest risks and consequences. – Provides insights into the potential impact on product quality, safety, and customer satisfaction.– Assessing the severity of a software bug that could lead to data loss. – Evaluating the severity of a manufacturing process failure that could result in a safety hazard.Severity Assessment Example: Assigning a high severity rating to a potential failure mode that could lead to a product safety issue.
4. Determine Occurrence (O)Assess the likelihood or occurrence probability of each failure mode, indicating how frequently it might occur.– Assign an occurrence rating to each failure mode on a predefined scale (e.g., 1 to 10) based on its likelihood of happening. – Consider historical data, past occurrences, and expert knowledge to estimate the occurrence probability. – Document the rationale behind the occurrence ratings.– Identifies the likelihood of occurrence for each failure mode, helping to prioritize high-risk scenarios. – Aids in focusing resources on prevention and mitigation efforts for failure modes with higher occurrence probabilities.– Assessing the likelihood of a software bug occurring during development. – Evaluating the likelihood of a manufacturing equipment malfunction in a production process.Occurrence Assessment Example: Assigning a high occurrence rating to a potential failure mode with a high likelihood of occurrence based on historical data.
5. Evaluate Detection (D)Assess the effectiveness of current detection and prevention mechanisms in identifying and mitigating failure modes.– Assign a detection rating to each failure mode on a predefined scale (e.g., 1 to 10) based on the effectiveness of existing detection methods. – Consider factors such as testing, inspections, monitoring, and quality control procedures. – Document the rationale behind the detection ratings.– Helps identify areas where current detection methods may be inadequate or require improvement. – Indicates the effectiveness of early warning systems and mitigation measures.– Evaluating the effectiveness of software testing in detecting and preventing bugs. – Assessing the quality control measures in place to detect defects in a manufacturing process.Detection Assessment Example: Assigning a low detection rating to a potential failure mode that may not be easily identified during testing.
6. Calculate Risk Priority Number (RPN)Calculate the Risk Priority Number (RPN) for each failure mode by multiplying the severity, occurrence, and detection ratings.– Multiply the assigned severity, occurrence, and detection ratings for each failure mode to calculate the RPN. – Rank the failure modes based on their RPN values in descending order. – Focus on addressing and mitigating the failure modes with the highest RPNs as they pose the greatest risks.– Provides a quantitative measure of risk for each failure mode, allowing for prioritization. – Helps in determining which failure modes require immediate attention and corrective actions.– Prioritizing and addressing software bugs with the highest RPN values. – Identifying critical failure modes in a manufacturing process for proactive risk mitigation.RPN Calculation Example: Calculating the RPN for a failure mode with severity 9, occurrence 7, and detection 5, resulting in an RPN of 315.
7. Develop Action Plans (AP)Develop action plans and recommendations for addressing and mitigating the high-risk failure modes.– For failure modes with high RPN values, develop specific action plans that outline corrective and preventive measures. – Assign responsibilities, timelines, and resources for implementing the action plans. – Ensure that the actions are aimed at reducing severity, occurrence, or improving detection.– Enables proactive risk mitigation by addressing high-risk failure modes. – Provides a roadmap for taking corrective actions to prevent potential failures.– Developing action plans to fix critical software bugs and prevent their recurrence. – Implementing process improvements to mitigate high-risk failure modes in a manufacturing process.Action Plan Development Example: Creating an action plan to enhance software testing procedures and improve bug detection for high-risk issues.
8. Implementation and Monitoring (IM)Execute the action plans, monitor their progress, and ensure that the corrective measures are effectively implemented.– Implement the action plans as outlined, following the assigned responsibilities and timelines. – Continuously monitor and track the progress of implementation. – Assess the effectiveness of the actions in reducing risk and improving the process.– Ensures that corrective actions are executed as planned and within the specified timelines. – Provides real-time feedback on the effectiveness of implemented measures.– Carrying out the steps to fix software bugs and monitor their resolution progress. – Implementing process changes in manufacturing and monitoring their impact on reducing risk.Implementation Example: Executing the action plan to improve software testing procedures and tracking the progress of bug resolution.
9. Review and Reassessment (RR)Periodically review and reassess the FMEA process to evaluate the impact of implemented actions and update the analysis as needed.– Conduct regular reviews to assess the effectiveness of implemented actions in reducing risk and preventing failures. – Reevaluate the FMEA process in light of changing circumstances, processes, or external factors. – Update the FMEA documentation and analysis as necessary.– Ensures that the analysis remains relevant and up-to-date with changing conditions. – Allows for continuous improvement by incorporating lessons learned from previous assessments.– Conducting periodic reviews of software development processes to ensure ongoing risk mitigation. – Reassessing manufacturing processes to adapt to changing technologies and market demands.Review and Reassessment Example: Reevaluating the FMEA analysis of a product manufacturing process after implementing process improvements to assess their impact on risk reduction.

Introduction to Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a technique for systematically evaluating the potential failure modes of a product, process, or system and understanding the effects of those failures on performance, safety, and quality. The primary goal of FMEA is to proactively identify and prioritize risks, allowing organizations to take preventive actions and minimize the likelihood and impact of failures.

Key principles of FMEA include:

  1. Proactive Risk Management: FMEA is a preventive approach to risk management that focuses on identifying and addressing potential issues before they lead to failures, defects, or safety incidents.
  2. Structured and Systematic: FMEA follows a structured and systematic process involving cross-functional teams to ensure a comprehensive analysis of potential failure modes and their consequences.
  3. Continuous Improvement: FMEA is an iterative process that can be revisited as new information becomes available or when changes are made to the product, process, or system.
  4. Scalable: FMEA can be applied at various levels, including design FMEA (DFMEA), process FMEA (PFMEA), and system FMEA (SFMEA), depending on the scope and purpose of the analysis.

Key Concepts in Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

To effectively apply FMEA, it’s essential to understand key concepts and terminology associated with the methodology:

1. Failure Mode:

A failure mode is a specific way in which a product, process, or system can fail to perform its intended function or meet specified requirements. Failure modes represent potential sources of problems or defects.

2. Effect:

An effect is the consequence or impact of a failure mode on the performance, safety, quality, or reliability of the product, process, or system. Effects can range from minor inconveniences to severe safety hazards.

3. Severity (S):

Severity is a rating that quantifies the potential harm or impact of an effect on a scale from 1 (minor) to 10 (catastrophic). It helps prioritize failure modes based on their potential severity.

4. Occurrence (O):

Occurrence is a rating that assesses the likelihood or probability of a failure mode occurring on a scale from 1 (very unlikely) to 10 (almost certain). It considers the historical data and experience related to the failure mode.

5. Detection (D):

Detection is a rating that evaluates the likelihood of detecting a failure mode before it reaches the customer or end-user on a scale from 1 (very likely to detect) to 10 (very unlikely to detect). It accounts for inspection, testing, and monitoring processes.

6. Risk Priority Number (RPN):

The Risk Priority Number (RPN) is a calculated value that helps prioritize failure modes based on their severity, occurrence, and detection ratings. It is calculated as RPN = Severity (S) × Occurrence (O) × Detection (D).

7. Action Priority (AP):

The Action Priority (AP) is used to rank failure modes in terms of the urgency and importance of taking corrective or preventive actions. It considers the RPN and other factors, such as regulatory requirements and customer expectations.

Methods for Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

FMEA involves several steps and methods to systematically assess and mitigate risks. Here is a simplified outline of the process:

1. Define the Scope:

Determine the scope and purpose of the FMEA. Decide whether it will be a design FMEA (DFMEA) for product design, a process FMEA (PFMEA) for manufacturing or process improvement, or a system FMEA (SFMEA) for overall system evaluation.

2. Assemble a Cross-Functional Team:

Form a cross-functional team comprising individuals with relevant expertise and knowledge in the product, process, or system under analysis. This ensures a comprehensive assessment.

3. Identify Failure Modes:

List all potential failure modes for the product, process, or system. A failure mode represents a specific way in which a failure can occur.

4. Assess Severity:

Evaluate and assign a severity rating (S) to each failure mode, considering the potential consequences and impact of the failure on safety, quality, and performance.

5. Assess Occurrence:

Evaluate and assign an occurrence rating (O) to each failure mode, taking into account the likelihood or probability of the failure occurring.

6. Assess Detection:

Evaluate and assign a detection rating (D) to each failure mode, considering the likelihood of detecting the failure before it reaches the customer or end-user.

7. Calculate RPN:

Calculate the Risk Priority Number (RPN) for each failure mode by multiplying the severity (S), occurrence (O), and detection (D) ratings. This helps prioritize failure modes.

8. Prioritize Actions:

Rank failure modes based on their RPN values and other factors, such as regulatory requirements and customer impact. Identify high-priority failure modes that require immediate action.

9. Develop Action Plans:

For high-priority failure modes, develop action plans that outline corrective or preventive actions to mitigate the identified risks. Assign responsibilities and establish timelines for implementation.

10. Implement Actions:

Execute the action plans and implement the identified corrective or preventive actions. This may involve design changes, process improvements, training, or other measures.

11. Reevaluate RPN:

After implementing actions, reevaluate the RPN for the previously high-priority failure modes to assess the effectiveness of the mitigation efforts.

12. Document and Communicate:

Document the FMEA process, including the identified failure modes, assessments, action plans, and outcomes. Communicate the findings and actions to relevant stakeholders.

Real-World Applications of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

FMEA is applied across various industries to enhance product quality, safety, and reliability, as well as to meet regulatory requirements:

1. Automotive Industry:

In the automotive industry, FMEA is widely used to assess and mitigate risks associated with vehicle design, manufacturing processes, and components. It helps prevent safety-related failures and defects.

2. Healthcare and Medical Devices:

FMEA is applied in healthcare to evaluate the risks associated with medical device design, pharmaceutical manufacturing, and healthcare processes. It ensures patient safety and compliance with regulatory standards.

3. Aerospace and Aviation:

The aerospace and aviation sectors use FMEA to assess and mitigate risks in aircraft design, manufacturing, and maintenance. It is critical for ensuring the reliability and safety of aircraft.

4. Manufacturing and Process Industries:

Manufacturing and process industries use FMEA to optimize manufacturing processes, reduce defects, and improve product quality. It is instrumental in lean manufacturing and Six Sigma methodologies.

5. Electronics and Semiconductor Manufacturing:

FMEA is employed in electronics and semiconductor manufacturing to identify and address potential failures in electronic components, circuits, and devices.

6. Food and Beverage:

In the food and beverage industry, FMEA helps prevent food safety issues, contamination, and quality defects. It supports compliance with food safety regulations.

The Significance of Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

FMEA offers several significant advantages for organizations across various industries:

  1. Risk Reduction: FMEA helps organizations proactively identify and mitigate potential risks, reducing the likelihood of failures, defects, and safety incidents.
  2. Improved Product Quality: By addressing failure modes and their effects, organizations can enhance product quality, reliability, and customer satisfaction.
  3. Safety Enhancement: FMEA is instrumental in identifying safety-related risks and preventing incidents that could harm users, patients, or employees.
  4. Cost Savings: Preventing failures and defects through FMEA can lead to cost savings associated with warranty claims, recalls, rework, and customer complaints.
  5. Regulatory Compliance: FMEA supports organizations in meeting regulatory requirements, particularly in industries with stringent safety and quality standards.
  6. Continuous Improvement: FMEA encourages a culture of continuous improvement by regularly assessing and enhancing processes and products.
  7. Cross-Functional Collaboration: FMEA involves cross-functional teams, fostering collaboration and knowledge sharing among employees with diverse expertise.


Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a valuable tool for organizations seeking to proactively manage risks, improve product quality, and enhance safety and reliability. By systematically identifying potential failure modes and their consequences, assessing risks, and implementing preventive actions, organizations can minimize the impact of failures on their products, processes, and systems. FMEA is a versatile methodology that can be applied across various industries to achieve operational excellence, comply with regulatory requirements, and ultimately deliver higher value to customers. As a structured and systematic approach to risk assessment and prevention, FMEA continues to play a vital role in quality and safety management.

Key Highlights of FMEA (Failure Mode and Effects Analysis):

  • Risk Identification: FMEA helps identify potential failure modes and their associated risks in processes and products.
  • Impact Assessment: It evaluates the consequences or effects of failure modes, allowing prioritization based on severity.
  • Root Cause Analysis: FMEA delves into the underlying causes of failures, aiding in understanding and addressing core issues.
  • Preventive Approach: By addressing potential risks before they occur, FMEA contributes to proactive quality assurance.
  • Process Improvement: The analysis leads to process optimization and reduction of defects, enhancing overall efficiency.
  • Cross-Functional Collaboration: FMEA involves input from various departments, promoting collaborative problem-solving.
  • Prioritization: The Risk Priority Number (RPN) helps prioritize failure modes for corrective action based on severity, occurrence, and detection.
  • Cost Savings: FMEA prevents costly recalls, repairs, and customer complaints, resulting in significant financial savings.
  • Applicability: Widely used in industries like automotive, healthcare, manufacturing, and aerospace to ensure safety and quality.
  • Continuous Improvement: FMEA encourages continuous learning and improvement by addressing potential failures systematically.
  • Standardized Framework: It provides a structured approach with defined steps, making it a versatile tool for different processes and industries.
  • Risk Mitigation: Through appropriate actions, FMEA helps mitigate risks, ensuring better customer satisfaction and regulatory compliance.

Connected Agile & Lean Frameworks


AIOps is the application of artificial intelligence to IT operations. It has become particularly useful for modern IT management in hybridized, distributed, and dynamic environments. AIOps has become a key operational component of modern digital-based organizations, built around software and algorithms.


AgileSHIFT is a framework that prepares individuals for transformational change by creating a culture of agility.

Agile Methodology

Agile started as a lightweight development method compared to heavyweight software development, which is the core paradigm of the previous decades of software development. By 2001 the Manifesto for Agile Software Development was born as a set of principles that defined the new paradigm for software development as a continuous iteration. This would also influence the way of doing business.

Agile Program Management

Agile Program Management is a means of managing, planning, and coordinating interrelated work in such a way that value delivery is emphasized for all key stakeholders. Agile Program Management (AgilePgM) is a disciplined yet flexible agile approach to managing transformational change within an organization.

Agile Project Management

Agile project management (APM) is a strategy that breaks large projects into smaller, more manageable tasks. In the APM methodology, each project is completed in small sections – often referred to as iterations. Each iteration is completed according to its project life cycle, beginning with the initial design and progressing to testing and then quality assurance.

Agile Modeling

Agile Modeling (AM) is a methodology for modeling and documenting software-based systems. Agile Modeling is critical to the rapid and continuous delivery of software. It is a collection of values, principles, and practices that guide effective, lightweight software modeling.

Agile Business Analysis

Agile Business Analysis (AgileBA) is certification in the form of guidance and training for business analysts seeking to work in agile environments. To support this shift, AgileBA also helps the business analyst relate Agile projects to a wider organizational mission or strategy. To ensure that analysts have the necessary skills and expertise, AgileBA certification was developed.

Agile Leadership

Agile leadership is the embodiment of agile manifesto principles by a manager or management team. Agile leadership impacts two important levels of a business. The structural level defines the roles, responsibilities, and key performance indicators. The behavioral level describes the actions leaders exhibit to others based on agile principles. 

Andon System

The andon system alerts managerial, maintenance, or other staff of a production process problem. The alert itself can be activated manually with a button or pull cord, but it can also be activated automatically by production equipment. Most Andon boards utilize three colored lights similar to a traffic signal: green (no errors), yellow or amber (problem identified, or quality check needed), and red (production stopped due to unidentified issue).

Bimodal Portfolio Management

Bimodal Portfolio Management (BimodalPfM) helps an organization manage both agile and traditional portfolios concurrently. Bimodal Portfolio Management – sometimes referred to as bimodal development – was coined by research and advisory company Gartner. The firm argued that many agile organizations still needed to run some aspects of their operations using traditional delivery models.

Business Innovation Matrix

Business innovation is about creating new opportunities for an organization to reinvent its core offerings, revenue streams, and enhance the value proposition for existing or new customers, thus renewing its whole business model. Business innovation springs by understanding the structure of the market, thus adapting or anticipating those changes.

Business Model Innovation

Business model innovation is about increasing the success of an organization with existing products and technologies by crafting a compelling value proposition able to propel a new business model to scale up customers and create a lasting competitive advantage. And it all starts by mastering the key customers.

Constructive Disruption

A consumer brand company like Procter & Gamble (P&G) defines “Constructive Disruption” as: a willingness to change, adapt, and create new trends and technologies that will shape our industry for the future. According to P&G, it moves around four pillars: lean innovation, brand building, supply chain, and digitalization & data analytics.

Continuous Innovation

That is a process that requires a continuous feedback loop to develop a valuable product and build a viable business model. Continuous innovation is a mindset where products and services are designed and delivered to tune them around the customers’ problem and not the technical solution of its founders.

Design Sprint

A design sprint is a proven five-day process where critical business questions are answered through speedy design and prototyping, focusing on the end-user. A design sprint starts with a weekly challenge that should finish with a prototype, test at the end, and therefore a lesson learned to be iterated.

Design Thinking

Tim Brown, Executive Chair of IDEO, defined design thinking as “a human-centered approach to innovation that draws from the designer’s toolkit to integrate the needs of people, the possibilities of technology, and the requirements for business success.” Therefore, desirability, feasibility, and viability are balanced to solve critical problems.


DevOps refers to a series of practices performed to perform automated software development processes. It is a conjugation of the term “development” and “operations” to emphasize how functions integrate across IT teams. DevOps strategies promote seamless building, testing, and deployment of products. It aims to bridge a gap between development and operations teams to streamline the development altogether.

Dual Track Agile

Product discovery is a critical part of agile methodologies, as its aim is to ensure that products customers love are built. Product discovery involves learning through a raft of methods, including design thinking, lean start-up, and A/B testing to name a few. Dual Track Agile is an agile methodology containing two separate tracks: the “discovery” track and the “delivery” track.

eXtreme Programming

eXtreme Programming was developed in the late 1990s by Ken Beck, Ron Jeffries, and Ward Cunningham. During this time, the trio was working on the Chrysler Comprehensive Compensation System (C3) to help manage the company payroll system. eXtreme Programming (XP) is a software development methodology. It is designed to improve software quality and the ability of software to adapt to changing customer needs.

Feature-Driven Development

Feature-Driven Development is a pragmatic software process that is client and architecture-centric. Feature-Driven Development (FDD) is an agile software development model that organizes workflow according to which features need to be developed next.

Gemba Walk

A Gemba Walk is a fundamental component of lean management. It describes the personal observation of work to learn more about it. Gemba is a Japanese word that loosely translates as “the real place”, or in business, “the place where value is created”. The Gemba Walk as a concept was created by Taiichi Ohno, the father of the Toyota Production System of lean manufacturing. Ohno wanted to encourage management executives to leave their offices and see where the real work happened. This, he hoped, would build relationships between employees with vastly different skillsets and build trust.

GIST Planning

GIST Planning is a relatively easy and lightweight agile approach to product planning that favors autonomous working. GIST Planning is a lean and agile methodology that was created by former Google product manager Itamar Gilad. GIST Planning seeks to address this situation by creating lightweight plans that are responsive and adaptable to change. GIST Planning also improves team velocity, autonomy, and alignment by reducing the pervasive influence of management. It consists of four blocks: goals, ideas, step-projects, and tasks.

ICE Scoring

The ICE Scoring Model is an agile methodology that prioritizes features using data according to three components: impact, confidence, and ease of implementation. The ICE Scoring Model was initially created by author and growth expert Sean Ellis to help companies expand. Today, the model is broadly used to prioritize projects, features, initiatives, and rollouts. It is ideally suited for early-stage product development where there is a continuous flow of ideas and momentum must be maintained.

Innovation Funnel

An innovation funnel is a tool or process ensuring only the best ideas are executed. In a metaphorical sense, the funnel screens innovative ideas for viability so that only the best products, processes, or business models are launched to the market. An innovation funnel provides a framework for the screening and testing of innovative ideas for viability.

Innovation Matrix

According to how well defined is the problem and how well defined the domain, we have four main types of innovations: basic research (problem and domain or not well defined); breakthrough innovation (domain is not well defined, the problem is well defined); sustaining innovation (both problem and domain are well defined); and disruptive innovation (domain is well defined, the problem is not well defined).

Innovation Theory

The innovation loop is a methodology/framework derived from the Bell Labs, which produced innovation at scale throughout the 20th century. They learned how to leverage a hybrid innovation management model based on science, invention, engineering, and manufacturing at scale. By leveraging individual genius, creativity, and small/large groups.

Lean vs. Agile

The Agile methodology has been primarily thought of for software development (and other business disciplines have also adopted it). Lean thinking is a process improvement technique where teams prioritize the value streams to improve it continuously. Both methodologies look at the customer as the key driver to improvement and waste reduction. Both methodologies look at improvement as something continuous.

Lean Startup

A startup company is a high-tech business that tries to build a scalable business model in tech-driven industries. A startup company usually follows a lean methodology, where continuous innovation, driven by built-in viral loops is the rule. Thus, driving growth and building network effects as a consequence of this strategy.

Minimum Viable Product

As pointed out by Eric Ries, a minimum viable product is that version of a new product which allows a team to collect the maximum amount of validated learning about customers with the least effort through a cycle of build, measure, learn; that is the foundation of the lean startup methodology.

Leaner MVP

A leaner MVP is the evolution of the MPV approach. Where the market risk is validated before anything else


Kanban is a lean manufacturing framework first developed by Toyota in the late 1940s. The Kanban framework is a means of visualizing work as it moves through identifying potential bottlenecks. It does that through a process called just-in-time (JIT) manufacturing to optimize engineering processes, speed up manufacturing products, and improve the go-to-market strategy.


Jidoka was first used in 1896 by Sakichi Toyoda, who invented a textile loom that would stop automatically when it encountered a defective thread. Jidoka is a Japanese term used in lean manufacturing. The term describes a scenario where machines cease operating without human intervention when a problem or defect is discovered.

PDCA Cycle

The PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle was first proposed by American physicist and engineer Walter A. Shewhart in the 1920s. The PDCA cycle is a continuous process and product improvement method and an essential component of the lean manufacturing philosophy.

Rational Unified Process

Rational unified process (RUP) is an agile software development methodology that breaks the project life cycle down into four distinct phases.

Rapid Application Development

RAD was first introduced by author and consultant James Martin in 1991. Martin recognized and then took advantage of the endless malleability of software in designing development models. Rapid Application Development (RAD) is a methodology focusing on delivering rapidly through continuous feedback and frequent iterations.

Retrospective Analysis

Retrospective analyses are held after a project to determine what worked well and what did not. They are also conducted at the end of an iteration in Agile project management. Agile practitioners call these meetings retrospectives or retros. They are an effective way to check the pulse of a project team, reflect on the work performed to date, and reach a consensus on how to tackle the next sprint cycle. These are the five stages of a retrospective analysis for effective Agile project management: set the stage, gather the data, generate insights, decide on the next steps, and close the retrospective.

Scaled Agile

Scaled Agile Lean Development (ScALeD) helps businesses discover a balanced approach to agile transition and scaling questions. The ScALed approach helps businesses successfully respond to change. Inspired by a combination of lean and agile values, ScALed is practitioner-based and can be completed through various agile frameworks and practices.


The SMED (single minute exchange of die) method is a lean production framework to reduce waste and increase production efficiency. The SMED method is a framework for reducing the time associated with completing an equipment changeover.

Spotify Model

The Spotify Model is an autonomous approach to scaling agile, focusing on culture communication, accountability, and quality. The Spotify model was first recognized in 2012 after Henrik Kniberg, and Anders Ivarsson released a white paper detailing how streaming company Spotify approached agility. Therefore, the Spotify model represents an evolution of agile.

Test-Driven Development

As the name suggests, TDD is a test-driven technique for delivering high-quality software rapidly and sustainably. It is an iterative approach based on the idea that a failing test should be written before any code for a feature or function is written. Test-Driven Development (TDD) is an approach to software development that relies on very short development cycles.


Timeboxing is a simple yet powerful time-management technique for improving productivity. Timeboxing describes the process of proactively scheduling a block of time to spend on a task in the future. It was first described by author James Martin in a book about agile software development.


Scrum is a methodology co-created by Ken Schwaber and Jeff Sutherland for effective team collaboration on complex products. Scrum was primarily thought for software development projects to deliver new software capability every 2-4 weeks. It is a sub-group of agile also used in project management to improve startups’ productivity.


Scrumban is a project management framework that is a hybrid of two popular agile methodologies: Scrum and Kanban. Scrumban is a popular approach to helping businesses focus on the right strategic tasks while simultaneously strengthening their processes.

Scrum Anti-Patterns

Scrum anti-patterns describe any attractive, easy-to-implement solution that ultimately makes a problem worse. Therefore, these are the practice not to follow to prevent issues from emerging. Some classic examples of scrum anti-patterns comprise absent product owners, pre-assigned tickets (making individuals work in isolation), and discounting retrospectives (where review meetings are not useful to really make improvements).

Scrum At Scale

Scrum at Scale (Scrum@Scale) is a framework that Scrum teams use to address complex problems and deliver high-value products. Scrum at Scale was created through a joint venture between the Scrum Alliance and Scrum Inc. The joint venture was overseen by Jeff Sutherland, a co-creator of Scrum and one of the principal authors of the Agile Manifesto.

Six Sigma

Six Sigma is a data-driven approach and methodology for eliminating errors or defects in a product, service, or process. Six Sigma was developed by Motorola as a management approach based on quality fundamentals in the early 1980s. A decade later, it was popularized by General Electric who estimated that the methodology saved them $12 billion in the first five years of operation.

Stretch Objectives

Stretch objectives describe any task an agile team plans to complete without expressly committing to do so. Teams incorporate stretch objectives during a Sprint or Program Increment (PI) as part of Scaled Agile. They are used when the agile team is unsure of its capacity to attain an objective. Therefore, stretch objectives are instead outcomes that, while extremely desirable, are not the difference between the success or failure of each sprint.

Toyota Production System

The Toyota Production System (TPS) is an early form of lean manufacturing created by auto-manufacturer Toyota. Created by the Toyota Motor Corporation in the 1940s and 50s, the Toyota Production System seeks to manufacture vehicles ordered by customers most quickly and efficiently possible.

Total Quality Management

The Total Quality Management (TQM) framework is a technique based on the premise that employees continuously work on their ability to provide value to customers. Importantly, the word “total” means that all employees are involved in the process – regardless of whether they work in development, production, or fulfillment.


The waterfall model was first described by Herbert D. Benington in 1956 during a presentation about the software used in radar imaging during the Cold War. Since there were no knowledge-based, creative software development strategies at the time, the waterfall method became standard practice. The waterfall model is a linear and sequential project management framework. 

Read Also: Continuous InnovationAgile MethodologyLean StartupBusiness Model InnovationProject Management.

Read Next: Agile Methodology, Lean Methodology, Agile Project Management, Scrum, Kanban, Six Sigma.

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