Wednesday, September 02, 2009

To Err is Human!

As an engineer, I am always concerned about errors I may make in my calculations and work that I submit to my employer or clients. I don't know why humans make errors but we can't seem to get away from it. No matter how well intentioned we are we err. I have read that the rate for routine tasks such as typing is about 1 error per 100 tasks. And the error rate apparently increases with the complexity of the task.

To stem the tide of errors in your work:

1) Ask for proofreading or "cold-eyes" review of your work or calculations.
2) Slow down and take the time it needs to do quality work. Remember that project triangle of good-cheap-fast, pick any two.
3) Avoid long continuous stretches of work. Take small breaks, walk, get out of the office and relax occasionally. Refresh your mind.

Errors occur in everything we do. They are leading contributors to accidents and costly design mistakes. Doctors, Lawyers, postmen, pilots and truck drivers are not immune from making errors.

Someone once stated, "If you have never made an error you have never tried anything!" How true. So let's all stay focused and prevent errors. One employer I worked with counted data entry errors and targeted for a Six Sigma performance level with employees in a particular function. It can be this important!
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