Failure Mode Effect Analysis Vs Fault Tree Analysis For Risk Management

Risk Management using Failure Mode and Effect Analysis Vs Fault Tree Analysis

Both Failure Mode and Effects Analysis (FMEA) and Fault Tree Analysis are used to identify potential risks in the system. But considering their usage and area of application, they have many differences as well.


FMEA proceeds forward from the potential causes of all the failure modes of a system to the effect. So most of the time FMEA will be a Bottom – Up approach towards risk analysis. On the other hand FTA proceeds in reverse direction from predefined effect to all the possible causes of the failure modes. So FTA is considered as a Top – Down approach.
In this context, FTA is also not an appropriate tool for the complex systems or critical processes where the number of effects will be high. In such circumstances FMEA will be more suitable for Risk Analysis.

FMEA has wide applications in reliability studies of world’s highly complex systems like NASA projects. Also it is broadly used in the feasibility studies of Business Operations, Computer networking, Aerospace and Pharma projects.
Most of the time FTA will be used to validate the robustness of a process. FTA will be ideal for Risk Management only in cases, where the number of possible effects are less.

Given this, the selection of a Risk Management tool is exclusively depends upon the nature and the complexity of system or a process considered for analysis.

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