Error Proof – How to Stop Daily Goofs for Good

by Kevin McManus, Chief Excellence Officer, Great Systems

How Error Proof are Your Processes?

Six sigma levels of quality cannot be achieved by asking people to be careful or disciplining those who goof. Instead, we have to error proof our work processes to sustain excellent levels of performance.

Why do so many people struggle to capture their key process errors that occur daily? How can we anticipate, and minimize, the potential for human error? How can a work system be designed to achieve very low error rates on a consistent basis? What actions will help your teams consistently use error reduction techniques? The key lies in using proven work system designs and practices to help minimize the daily potential for human error. This book contains many best practices to help you achieve this goal.

Significant examples of success – where error and incident rates are very low – do exist. The Blue Angels excel at work planning and review. Pal’s quick serve restaurant chain has a superior training and certification system. Energy sector workers consistently achieve near zero safety incident levels that many organizations would consider as being unobtainable. How do these people find ways to standardize their work practices and minimize errors in very dynamic, high risk settings? They use better work system designs to get better results.

The Error Proof book and ‘Best Practices in Mistake Proofing and Corrective Action Writing’ workshop will show you how to apply over 100 ‘best practice’ work system designs. Doing so will in turn help you accelerate your performance improvement efforts.

EXPLORE MORE: Process Improvement Strategies

Error Proof book by Kevin McManus


The Great Systems store is scheduled to open in early 2020. Most Great Systems books and workbooks can be purchased on Sorry for the inconvenience.

How can you error proof your key work systems and processes?

Key error proofing and process improvement concepts will be introduced throughout the two days of this workshop.  Multiple exercises are used to help illustrate the five key strategies that can be used to ‘error proof’ a process. 

The workshop facilitator will also describe key lessons that have been learned relative to deploying error proofing improvement techniques across all work process types. Learning how to integrate these improvement tools into every team member’s daily job is perhaps more important. It is the deployment and integration of these tools with the daily job that drives sustained error and defect reduction. Case study examples, such as adding the consistent use of improvement tools to job descriptions and personal development plans, and linking key results indicators to each employee’s profit sharing plan, will also be shared.

DISCOVER MORE: Are You Fit for Duty?

Error Proof Model

In the ‘Best Practices in Mistake Proofing and Corrective Action Writing’ workshop, you will learn how to …

  • Use best practice approaches for error proofing job tasks of ANY type
  • Proactively identify, analyze, and anticipate opportunities for error in a systematic manner
  • Assess the relative strength of different corrective action options
  • Write effective corrective and preventive actions that add value and can be sustained over time
  • Capture and use process-level error rates as leading indicators of corrective action effectiveness

Are you interested in bringing this two-day ‘Best Practices in Mistake Proofing and Corrective Action Writing’ workshop into your organization?

If you want to reduce daily process errors and escape reactive world, bring this interactive systems changing workshop to your own facility. If you are interested, send me a e-mail at, and let me know when you would like to bring the workshop into your facility. I will then work with a contact person from your location to arrange the workshop logistics, and more importantly, to customize the workshop to meet the specific needs that you have.

Who created the Error Proof book and workshop?

The “Error Proof – How to Stop Daily Goofs for Good” book and workshop was designed by Kevin McManus, who has served as an industrial engineer, Production Manager, Plant Manager, and Director of Quality during his 38-year business career. He has facilitated over 500 performance improvement workshops, and he has been teaching the TapRooT® root cause analysis process internationally for fourteen years. Kevin is currently serving a three-year term on the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award judges panel, and he has served as a national Examiner, Senior Examiner, or Alumni Examiner in 18 prior years. Kevin writes the monthly Performance Improvement column for Industrial and Systems Engineer magazine.

FOLLOW me on Twitter: @greatsystems

LIKE Great Systems on Facebook

CONNECT with me on LinkedIn