Lean Manufacturing and Six Sigma Definitions

Glossary terms, history, people and definitions about Lean and Six Sigma

Action Priority

Action Priority (AP) is a low, medium and high rating system created for FMEA risk assessments that supplements the Risk Priority Number (RPN) value based on Severity x Occurrence x Detection. It puts more emphasis on Severity, instead of treating all 3 ratings equally important.

Traditionally, companies used the RPN to determine high risks needing mitigation. However, it reality it made a difference whether you get a Severity of 8, Occurrence of 6 and Detection of 2, compared to a Severity of 2, Occurrence of 6 and Detection of 8, even though both equate to a RPN of 96.

After RPN is calculated, the Severity, Occurrence, and Detection scores can be compared to the AP table to determine if the risk is low (green), medium (yellow) or high (red).

Below is a summary of the 3 levels, along with the importance of improving the Prevention or Detection controls for that risk.

It was first introduced in the AIAG & Verband der Automobilindustrie (VDA) Failure Mode and Effects Analysis Handbook.

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