The abbreviation FMEA is short for Failure Modes and Effects Analysis. It's a tool that helps you look very carefully and systematically at exactly how and why things can go wrong, so you can do your best to prevent that from happening.
The FMEA is a great tool to use early on in a quality improvement project, because it collects and organize data about a process that can help you identify and scope a process improvement project. It's also good for identifying and screening potential vital X's as you complete a project. And at the end of a project, you can use the FMEA to document status, reference reaction plans, and note any further improvements the process may require over time.