To err is human

That is a fact. This is mainly due the way we process information in our minds. We can only cope with a certain level of information and so to help with this our minds do 1 of three things – Generalise, Distort and Delete. For example:

We grow to know that a chair is a chair despite there being lots of shapes sizes, colours etc. – this is how we generalise, we don’t have to labour in thinking about it.

We sometimes get a bad reaction from something we say to someone and don’t understand why they are offended – this is because they distort the message by reading things into it based on the beliefs and past experiences.

How often have you taken a regular car journey and arrive not having remembered some of it! when we become familiar with a situation or just expect it to be a certain way we delete information and ‘see what we expect to see’ – even if this is not how the situation is.

Imagine all this deleting, generalising and distorting happening in the field of our work? If our work processes are designed for vigilance and accepting to err is human then we can minimise the risk for potential error that may arise then we should not create too many errors. However, if it isn’t then this is a recipe for disaster and is ‘an accident waiting to happen’.

To cope with this human error factor, then we must design our work processes for Reliability.