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What is Failure Analysis Engineering (FAE)?

Posted by Adrian M.

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Categories: Systems Analysis, Tools


Failure analysis engineering (FAE) is a multidisciplinary field that focuses on investigating and understanding the reasons behind the failure of materials, components, structures, or systems. The goal of failure analysis is to identify the root cause of the failure and provide recommendations for preventing similar failures in the future. This field is crucial in various industries, including manufacturing, software engineering, aerospace, automotive, electronics, and more.

What is Failure Analysis Engineering (FAE)?

Here are some of the key principles of Failure Analysis Engineering:

  • Systematic Investigation - Conduct a methodical and systematic investigation to identify the root causes of failures by gathering data, performing analyses, and drawing conclusions about the failure.
  • Interdisciplinary Approach - When you recognize that many failures may involve multiple disciplines, practitioners can apply an interdisciplinary approach to analyze failures comprehensively.
  • Documentation and Record Keeping - Document all phases of the failure analysis process, including observations, test results, analyses, and conclusions.
  • Design and Manufacturing Evaluation - Assess whether failures are related to design flaws or manufacturing errors.
  • Continuous Improvement - Foster a culture of continuous improvement by using lessons learned from failure analyses to enhance future designs, processes, and decision-making.

Failure Analysis Engineering and Systems Analysis and Software Engineering

Failure analysis engineering (FAE) can play a significant role in systems analysis. Systems analysis involves studying and understanding the interactions and interdependencies within a complex system. In the realm of software, failures can manifest as bugs, errors, system crashes, or unexpected behavior. Applying failure analysis techniques in software engineering helps identify the root causes of these issues and provides insights for preventing similar failures in the future. 

Here's how FAE intersects with systems analysis and software engineering:

  • Bug Analysis - Investigate and analyze software bugs to identify the root causes, using debugging tools, logging, and error tracking systems to trace the sequence of events leading to the failure.
  • Code Review and Static Analysis - Conduct thorough code reviews to identify potential issues and vulnerabilities, using static code analysis tools to identify coding patterns that may lead to failures.
  • Automated Testing - Implement comprehensive automated testing practices, including unit tests, integration tests, and end-to-end tests.
  • Continuous Integration and Deployment (CI/CD) - Integrate failure analysis into the DevOps CI/CD pipeline to identify issues early in the development process.
  • Agile Practices - Integrate failure analysis into Agile methodologies, conducting retrospective discussions to learn from failures and improve processes iteratively.
  • Retrospectives for Learning - Include failure analysis discussions in Agile retrospectives to review what went wrong, what was learned, and how to prevent similar issues in the future.
  • User Story Refinement - Refine user stories with failure analysis considerations. Discuss potential points of failure, identify critical paths, and ensure that the team is aware of possible risks.



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Do your homework prior to the business analysis interview!

Having an idea of the type of questions you might be asked during a business analyst interview will not only give you confidence but it will also help you to formulate your thoughts and to be better prepared to answer the interview questions you might get during the interview for a business analyst position.  Of course, just memorizing a list of business analyst interview questions will not make you a great business analyst but it might just help you get that next job.



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