What is defect analysis in project management?

What is defect analysis in project management?

Defect analysis is part of continuous quality improvement planning, in which defects are classified in to different categories and also used to identify possible causes to prevent problems from occurring. It helps projects identify how problems can be prevented and to reduce or eliminate a significant number of injection defects in the system.

Techopepedia explains defect analysis

Defect analysis is a joint effort between the various consultants involved in the project. Their process knowledge is used to support defect analysis and can be considered as part of the process improvement model. Defect analysis focuses on developing solutions to attack the root causes of various common defects. For this reason, past projects can also be analyzed to obtain data on defects. In this way, it strives for higher performance and quality in future iterations, using the experience in its current iteration. The steps involved in defect analysis are collecting defect data at the end of each iteration, identifying common defects using various analysis techniques, performing causal analysis and prioritizing the root causes, identifying and developing solutions for root causes, application of solutions and review of defect condition analysis at the end of the next iteration.


Defect analysis can be used to measure changes before and after the introduction of improvements. Defect analysis helps to improve both productivity and quality. It also helps reduce the effort required to eliminate defects in the long run.

Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is a powerful approach to detecting potential defects that may exist in a product or process design.

Failures are the ways in which a process can fail. Effects are the ways in which these failures can lead to losses, defects or harmful consequences for the customer. Failure and effect analysis is designed to identify, prioritize, and limit the occurrence of the most significant failures and effects.

FMEA is not a substitute for good engineering. Rather, it improves good engineering performance by applying the knowledge and experience of a dedicated team to review the product or process, assessing the risk of failure.

There are two broad categories of FMEA – Design FMEA (DFMEA) and Process FMEA (PFMEA).

FMEA in the design process – DFMEA
DFMEA examines the possibility of product malfunctions, reduced service life, safety requirements for the operation of the product resulting from:

The materials;
Interfaces with other components and / or systems;
Engineering: The environment in which the product will be used, user profile, system interactions, depreciation and others;
FMEA of the process – PFMEA
PFMEA is a preventive method for identifying failures that affect product quality, reduced process reliability, customer dissatisfaction, and risks to safety or the environment arising from:

  • Human factors;
  • Production methods;
  • Used materials;
  • Used machines;
  • Measurement systems that may affect reception;
  • Environmental factors influencing the efficiency of the process;

When to perform FMEA?
In the following cases, it is recommended to apply FMEA:

When designing a new product, process or service;
When you plan to make a change in a process;
When you aim to improve efficiency for a specific process;
When you need to understand and improve the stability of the process;

Why apply FMEA?

The logic is that the earlier a problem is anticipated, the less it will cost to solve it. If a product defect or process failure is found at the end of product development or release, the impact is devastating.

FMEA is one of the many methods used to detect potential defects and failures at the earliest stage of product or process design. This will guarantee you the following benefits:

You will be able to identify more opportunities to influence the risk;
Higher ability to check and validate the changes made;
Better relationship between product design and process;
Faster and easier production and installation;
Lower cost solutions;
Accumulation of rich technical know – how for future developments;
In conclusion, this methodology is effective in identifying and correcting product failures and defects at the beginning of their design so that you can avoid bad consequences.

We will pay special attention to the application of PFMEA and DFMEA in a separate article, as the method requires special attention.

How can we help you with FMEA counseling?

Our FMEA consultants and experts will help your employees perform the FMEA analysis in the best possible way so that you get real results from its application and use.

Consulting method

We apply 4 main steps in consulting companies on FMEA, which provide a complete and comprehensive analysis.

1. Assessment of the current state and mapping of the process

Establishing your requirements and expectations for FMEA;
Your expectations for the development of the industry, the applicable standards and methods;
The resources you have, the time, the technology and the staff
Goals and benefits you want to achieve;

More References

2. Planning and designing the future process of FMEA

Research the best practices applicable to your business and compare them with your needs and desires;
Determining the method of application of the method;
Preparation of forms, templates and procedures / work instructions;
Introduce the process as part of your product or process design system, where applicable – Product Quality Planning (APQP);
Development of measures and indicators for measuring the effective implementation of FMEA;

3. Introduction of the new FMEA process and system

Practical exercises for conducting FMEA with real products and processes;
Clarification of the key elements of the FMEA process;
Awareness of employees and management of the need to succeed in implementing the process;
Assistance in case of need to introduce changes in other processes as a result of FMEA;
FMEA implementation training for management, technical staff and engineers;

4. Assistance in the implementation of the FMEA

Participation of our employees in the implementation of FMEA to accelerate the faster understanding and success of your employees;

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