The purpose of this procedure is to define the steps to do a 4M Analysis of a system or subsystem. The goal of this 4M Analysis Procedure is to reduce losses in the factory by using the Equipment Attributes as a guideline to achieve this end.

Focused Improvement training can be taken here

4M Analysis Steps

  • Define Improvement Statement
  • List Issues into Categories
  • Resolve Issues

Define Improvement Statement

4M Fishbone Diagram

  • Select a process system or item that can be replaced by another type of system if necessary.
  • Each attribute contains a definition and a set of details that define it’s purpose

Define Statement for Fishbone

  • “Improve”
  • Select Process
  • Select Attribute
  • Statement
    • Improve
    • COB Unloading Area
    • General & Operator Maintainability

List Issues Into Categories

  • Put a category on each branch of the fishbone and fill in the attributes of each category on the branch

4M Fishbone Diagram

List Issues Into Categories

  • Man
    • Skill
    • Technology
    • Organization
    • Resources
    • Communications
  • Machine
    • Design
    • Installation
    • Supplier
  • Methods
    • Schedule
    • Procedure
  • Material
    • Design
    • Quality
  • Other
    • Budget
    • Demand

  • Now the team asked the questions of each category: (Evaluating “Man & Skill”) How does “a person’s skill affect the process we are trying to improve”.
  • After each question, all of the issues that arise are listed under that sub category of the 4M

Capture & List Issues into Categories

Visual access limited
Easy access limited
Maintainability limited (bearings)
Mounting brackets not clean design
Conveyors stacked on top of one another
Too much string
Too many damaged cases

4M Analysis Resolution of Issues

  • Select Condition from list of Issues on fishbone
    • Example: “Design – Visual access limited”
  • Select Proper Problem Solving Methodology
    • Problem Solving Methodologies
    • Autonomous Maintenance Process
    • Standards
    • Inspection, Cleaning & Lubrication
    • Root Cause Analysis
    • Cap Do Process
    • 5S Checklist
    • One Point Lesson Plans
    • Re-engineering (MP Data)
    • Project Safety Checklist

  • Select Owner of Countermeasures
    • Create work order to schedule work for trades
  • Schedule Countermeasure Completion

  • 30 days after completion, evaluate countermeasure to insure that all of the expectations, of the owners, have been met. If not, re-do cause and analysis.


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  1. Hi
    very useful information , my note is” we can use 5 whys Tool also to define root cause for ” Example: “Design – Visual access limited”.

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