How to identify potential mistakes with failure prevention analysis

Gladiators chasing Roman Gods

“Perfection is not attainable, but if we chase perfection we can catch excellence”

– Vince Lombardi, American football coach

We’ve talked a lot about how to learn from mistakes and stop them from happening again. Continuous Improvement organisations take this a step further – they don’t just learn from mistakes, they actively preempt and prevent them from occurring.

This is done by asking ‘what could go wrong?’ whenever any change is proposed. By doing this, you can identify the mistakes that could happen before they ever do, and put preventative steps in place. There are many excellent tools and techniques that can guide you through this task – generally, the simpler the tool the better. One that we are particularly fond of is called failure prevention analysis.

What is failure prevention analysis?

In the video below, I’ll explain failure prevention analysis and reference the template and cheat sheet below. Download these resources and apply failure prevention analysis to your own organisation.

Failure prevention analysis scorecard

Template (Thinking Caps scorecard & Hard Hats template): Failure prevention analysis

Failure prevention analysis cheat sheet

Cheat sheet: Failure prevention analysis

In summary, in order to adopt a continuous improvement culture, you not only need to learn from mistakes you have made, but attempt to preempt and prevent them too. If you need any help with failure prevention analysis, email or use our Contact page.