Fail Smart, Not Just Fast: Use Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)

Rob Keefer

You’re a professional project manager or ScrumMaster. Your software development projects never fail because you follow all the best practices. Right? We all know better. Unfortunately, many projects fail, and they fail due to issues outside the team's control. The reality is that we need to reconsider what failure looks like and plan for it when it happens. Rob Keefer introduces a tool—Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA)—that has been used in engineering disciplines for many years and successfully applied to software development project management. FMEA shines a light on the underlying drivers of project failure and can be used to facilitate an open conversation with project stakeholders, leading (hopefully) to risk mitigation. Rob provides a hands-on introduction to performing a Failure Mode and Effects Analysis using the FMEA canvas, which makes the FMEA approachable by non-engineers. Take back this canvas and apply the FMEA technique to your own projects.

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