Failure Modes and Effects Analysis (FMEA) is another technique which can identify the barriers, and is especially useful when identifying single point failures. FMECA (Failure Modes, Effects, and Criticality Analysis) is an extension of an FMEA process where a criticality assessment is undertaken. A FMEA/FMECA is a team-based approach for identifying means of failure and the effects on a “local” and “global” basis. The objective is to determine whether a failure mode can occur, and if so, whether an unsafe or inoperable condition could result.

A FMEA/FMECA study performed during the design phase can identify the equipment and systems to which the maintenance activities should be concentrated during the development of maintenance programs. At different stages of the operational life, a FMEA/FMECA would also identify the failure history observed for the equipment and thus help in updating the maintenance plans and procedures.