After completing your ratings, you should now have a Risk Priority Number (RPN) for each combination of a process step, failure mode, and effect. Identify the five highest RPNs (if there are ties, break the ties however you would like). You will complete the remainder of the project by focusing only on these high-priority issues.

The first step for the remainder to brainstorm potential causes of these five failure mode and effect combinations. Essentially, you are completing a hypothetical, expedient version of a Root Cause Analysis; you are completing one “mini RCA” for each of these five combinations (so, 5 mini RCAs in total). Document all of the causes that you brainstorm in the column labeled “Potential Causes, Description” in your Excel FMEA template (it is likely be column K). See the grading rubric for how many causes you need to document to score well, and other grading criteria. You can save column L for the next assignment. For more information on how to brainstorm Potential Causes, please see the rca_fmea_overview.pptx and the associated recording, paying close attention to the RCA section and the section on Potential Causes during the FMEA overview.