The FMEA discipline was developed in the United States Military. Military Procedure MIL-P-1629, titled Procedures for Performing a Failure Mode, Effects and Criticality Analysis, is dated November 9, 1949. It was used as a reliability evaluation technique to determine the effect of system and equipment failures. Failures were classified according to their impact on mission success and personnel/equipment safety.
The term "personnel/equipment", taken directly from an abstract of Military Standard MIL-STD-1629, is notable. The concept that personnel and equipment are interchangeable does not apply in the modern manufacturing context of producing consumer goods. The manufacturers of consumer products established a new set of priorities, including customer satisfaction and safety. As a result, the risk assessment tools of the FMEA became partially outdated. They have not been adequately updated since.