Error Proofing

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So many good everyday examples of how to make things easy to get right and difficult to get wrong.

The unleaded petrol nozzle will not fit into the diesel hole. petrol-nozzle

In a way it is unfortunate that we have adopted POKA YOKE as the trendy jargon term  to describe making it easy to get right/difficult to get wrong. Unless you have the language TOOLS and are TRAINED in Japanese; that takes a LONG TIME, there is no hint at what it means. Its unhelpful.



how-to-insert-cell-phone-sim-cardPersonally I like the phrase Error Proofing or a close second Mistake Proofing; much better for understanding the concept, and much more accessible to people who are new to the subject (as we all are at some point) or maybe don’t speak fluent English.



There are several reasons why mistakes will happen:

  • Lack of experience
  • Fatigue
  • Misunderstanding / poor training
  • Forgetfulness
  • Misplacement / unclear identification of locations
  • Poor attention to detail / sloppiness / distraction
  • Deliberate short cut / ignoring rules & systems / sabotage

And several others

A good way of helping people with key concept, and for them to start developing their own solutions to prevent easily made errors, is with the snappy: No Tools, No Time, No Training

A good error proof design solution will commonly require no additional external equipment, take the minimum time possible, and will be instinctive due to the matching of colour coding on parts or visually obvious shapes.

It is not just about manufacturing ….re-designing a process, system, or operation to make an error less likely to happen is as relevant to multi stage administration service processes or support function as the mass manufacture of physical goods.

A simple and under rated tool is a pre-flight checklist.

It is too late to discover once the plane is in the air and the risk / consequence is high. This is error prevention not quality inspection /catching it after its been made.

No Tools, No Time, No Training #3NT



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