Home"Mistakes are a fact of life. It is the response to error that counts." —Nikki Giovanni, American poet (1943- )
errorManagement is dedicated to the fact that we are human. One of the unmistakable qualities of humans is that they are all vulnerable to making errors.
That's not necessarily a bad thing. Errors are a big part of life (and on occasion make for very interesting stories too ;) So we double-check our work or recruit others to help us do it, we slow down and shut out distractions when we need to focus our attention to a difficult task, we use to-do lists and post it® notes to avoid forgetting important things, and set alarms to remind us to do things at the right time. And yet mistakes are always just a step away. We are reminded of that when we discover a typo in a presentation that we carefully read over a number of times the previous day, when we close the door behind us and realize we have forgotten the keys inside, when we fully intend to turn the oven off in a couple of minutes and we are in the middle of writing an email wondering what smells like it's burning, and when we come back from the grocery store with twenty items we never really meant to buy but not the one that inspired us to walk to the store in the first place.
Errors in everyday life can be a nuisance. Errors in the workplace, on the other hand, particularly when that work exposes human life to risk (e.g., an airplane cockpit, an operating room) are more troubling. Pilots, for example, rely on some of the same safeguards: they use procedures and checklists to double-check their work and each other's work, they slow down and shut out distractions when they need to remain focused on a critical task (sterile cockpit), and to some extent have developed their own techniques that serve as to-do lists and post-it notes to help keep track of activities they need to do in the immediate future. And yet, mistakes are still always just a step away - and say nothing about pilots' expertise or skill level.
Whether in everyday life or at work, errors will always happen. Some of them can be fully prevented - but many of them cannot. But they can be managed.
-- errorManagement is about Managing error.