Saturday, 23 November 2013

Process FMEA in Software Projects

Specific Benefits of FMEA

FMEA looks simple, but it is an extremely powerful tool when applied in letter and spirit. It helps the team assess stakeholder issues and concerns, identifying and creating a strategy for those that should be moved to a higher level of support.
Specifically, FMEA:
  • Captures the collective knowledge of a team.
  • Improves the quality, reliability and safety of the process/product.
  • Is a structured process for identifying areas of concern.
  • Documents and tracks risk reduction activities.
  • Helps the team create proactive action plans and thus improve process robustness.

Is FMEA Really Needed for Software Projects?

Some software project managers argue that they do not really need a separate FMEA tool. Risk analysis and mitigation should be a part of the manager’s normal project management job, they say. The point is: If an organization is looking for better results in risk mitigation and improved processes, it needs to use a better tool or technique, such as FMEA. Unless a FMEA is done, improvement activities are likely to remain unclear and unfocused, and may not even get implemented in the pressure of meeting schedules and deadlines. In addition, since FMEA action items are generated by the project team through collective brainstorming, rather than an individual, the buy-in of the actions is much higher, and thus the project manager faces minimum resistance in implementing them. In short, the benefits a software project team will gain from this powerful technique are well worth the time invested in applying it.

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