Have you ever made any mistake in your working?
What a stupid question!
All of us have made mistakes. Including me. Plenty.
It is a part of learning and it is almost impossible that you learn without making mistakes.
In our Company, I encourage people to make mistakes. In fact, it works against itself.
When the employees are given the freedom of making mistakes, they get a comfort level. I ask them to think and work. This comfort level and thinking combination helps to minimize mistakes. Thus the very fact that freedom to make mistakes results in less mistakes.
I give that freedom with a rider.
They cannot make the same mistake second time! They get penalized for this. So, the challenge is to make new mistakes.. it is not that easy.
After a while their capacity to make new mistakes gets diminished and their working level quality, becomes acceptable.
The important point is learning from mistakes.
The smart way is to learn from others mistakes, so that you can totally avoid making it in the first instant itself.
Pool the mistakes. All the team members meet and discuss the mistakes they made that week. The context, the solution all are discussed and the overall team performance improves.
Mistakes generally happen due to the following reasons:
- Improper or incomplete communication
- Lack of understanding
- Invalid assumptions
- Lack of skill
- Lack of concentration
- Lack of time
- Improper or lack of testing or reviewing
All these are correctable by various methods.
- Communicate by writing.
- Explain why it is needed and is to be done that way.
- Ask the doer to explain his understanding.
- Tell what to do as well as what not to do and why.
- Confirm the person’s capacity to do it the way you want.
- Talk to the person and see if he has any personal problem.
- Give breaks in between to eliminate monotony and fatigue.
- Give sufficient time
- Ask them to verify against the requirement.
- Prepare check lists. Improve your process.
- Be realistic.
- Train the newcomers.
- Show examples.
With all these, you will find the quality gradually improves and the growing list of mistakes approaches “nothing new” and a stable assured quality results.