Question Tags and Failure Categories Best Practice

Modified on Tue, 09 Feb 2021 at 01:16 PM

The Luminous Group helped develop these practices. For help with implementing these practices, check out chapter 2.3 Manage of our user manual. For more guidance on managing your LPAs, check out our ebook The Ultimate Guide to Layered Process Audits.

Question Tags

While question tags can be used to organize your question library in a number of different ways, tags for reporting purposes can be one of the most beneficial. We developed a set of process element tags that indicate the unique element of the process or environment that a question is to verify. This set of process elements are similar but different to the 4Ms that are often checked on a manufacturing plant floor.

Process Elements

  • Safety - Proper use of PPE and safety behaviors
  • Standards - Availability of clear instructions, standardized work, machine settings, etc.
  • EP/MP - Effectiveness of error proofing or mistake proofing devices
  • Measurement - Condition of measurement device - calibration/master
  • Material - Correct material (type, part number, expiration date, etc.)
  • Operator - Operator compliance to a standard (craftsmanship/technique/frequency gauging, etc.)

Once you have these tags created, you should apply one and only one to each LPA question. These tags will permit additional valuable data analysis and reporting that could potentially drive significant KPI improvement.

Failure Categories

One of the features of EASE that may be new to your LPAs is the ability to categorize your failures. Creating these failure categories and failure modes will take some time to get right and should be regularly revisited to ensure that your failures are be accurately categorized.

Our recommendation is to keep the list as straightforward and unambiguous as possible by limiting the number of choices.


  • Standard not followed - The operator was trained, but didn't follow the standard
  • Training not effective - The operator was not adequately trained or aware of a change
  • Complexity - The standard is not straightforward and not fully understood
  • Item not available - The item was not available or access to the item was blocked (ex.: part, gauge, supply, label, container, etc.)

Analysis of the frequency of the occurrence of these failure categories over time could aid a plant in continuous improvement and prevention of process failures.

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