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Correcting Mistakes


Mistakes are an inevitable characteristic of human existence and systems. Irrespective of our skills, knowledge and vast array of talents, we are all prone to #error. It follows that what we #produce will also always be exposed to error.


Notwithstanding, let’s face facts, there is no way we would be comfortable travelling on a plane where the margin of error for engine failure is high, nor would we want to be exposed to a medical procedure where attention to detail and the avoidance of error is in question. In fact, even a simple sales/purchase experience that’s dotted with unnecessary errors can be cause for much frustration.


Error proofing or poka yoke as we refer to it in lean language, acknowledges the possibility of human error; however, the concept goes several steps further by identifying causes, sources and corrective measures with a view to reducing and #preventing the occurrence or repetition of errors.


The argumentative position often taken in some organization to maintain and repeat #processes where there are known and very visible errors is quite unfortunate. Argue if you may, however, which ever way you spin it, mistakes are an expensive alternative to taking #corrective measures. Why continually repeat the process if there are known errors?


Here are a few basic error-proofing recommendations:

✔ Stop, review, identify and work backwards until you find the source of the error

✔ Ask the simple question, how can this error be corrected?

✔ Consider and test alternative solutions. This is especially important for avoiding compounding of errors

✔ Quickly implement workable alternative(s) (remember, mistakes are expensive)

✔ Implement system(s) to monitor and engage in continuous review and improvements (remember an error fixed today can be the subject of error tomorrow in our very dynamic environment


Happy error proofing!


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