Anticipatory Failure Determination (AFD) is a tool used in the TRIZ (Theory of Inventive Problem Solving) methodology. This article introduces its concept and describes the process of AFD in different versions of the method. The article presents the application of the AFD method at a very early state of a system’s development, i.e. its concept formulation stage, which corresponds to a technology readiness level (TRL) equal to 2. The system under analysis is a set of devices used to reduce displacement ship hull resistance. The system was modelled using functional analysis. An analysis of system resources was then carried out. Possible direct, indirect, and accident-related failures were identified. A multi-criteria analysis of the causes of system failures was conducted from which the top 10 potential failures were selected. Observations were made on the applicability of AFD in respect to systems not yet implemented.