The thing about failures is they are chameleons that can exist by other aliases – Effect, Mode, or Cause.  Every last one of them are failures; functional performance that has drifted far enough from the ideal function to reach the zone of failure.  They achieve their aliases as they fall into different places in what I like to call the “causal continuum.”

Are All Failures Created Equal?

Allow me to explain by focusing on several failures connected together in a continuous fashion.  This graphic shows two different views of the same causal chain or causal continuum.  The intent is to illustrate that the label of Effect, Mode, or Cause simply depends upon the point of reference.  The Mode is the failure where we are focused.  Things to the left are Effects.  Things to the right are Causes.  All failures… but not all “failure modes.”  The label “Mode” is reserved for our focus location on this causal continuum.  Carry on!


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