Ten Different Kinds of Errors

May 27th, 2011

Tags: gemba kaizen, kaizen, poka yoke, mistake proofing

Top 10 List of Errors

  1. Forgetfulness, because we just weren’t concentrating.  Avoided by checking at regular intervals.
  2. Lack of Understanding, where we jump to the wrong conclusion before becoming familiar with the situation.  Avoided by standardized work instructions and training.
  3. Identification Errors, where we view things too quickly or are too far away to see it clearly.  Avoided by training, vigilance, and just plain paying attention.
  4. Errors made by Amateurs, where the lack of experience gets in the way of doing things correctly.  Avoided by standardized operations and skill building.
  5. Willful Errors, which are often caused by poor judgment, ignoring rules, and taking shortcuts.  Avoided by basic education, training, and experience.
  6. Inadvertent Errors, where we take a mental vacation and absentmindedly make mistakes without even noticing that we did.  Avoided by paying attention, discipline, and standardized operations.
  7. Errors caused by Slowness, where our actions are slowed by delays in judgment.  We just weren’t sure what to do next.  Avoided by building skills and standardized operations.
  8. Errors caused by Lack of Standards, where mistakes are made because specifications, requirements, and instructions aren’t suitable or available.  Avoided by standardized operations, policies, procedures, and work instructions.
  9. Surprise Errors, where the process just isn’t running as expected.  Avoided by preventive maintenance, productive maintenance, and standardized operations.
  10. Intentional Errors, where a few people deliberately make mistakes as in crimes and sabotage.  Avoided by fundamental education and discipline.

Poka Yoke five best practices for Process and Design are:


  1. Guide pins (location and/or size)
  2. Error detection and alarms
  3. Limit switches
  4. Counters
  5. Checklists


  1. Self fixturing
  2. Multi-functional parts
  3. Minimizing part variation
  4. Symmetrical parts
  5. In-sensitive to part variation

Utilizing the best practices of Poka Yoke can lead the way for your work environment to achieve zero defects.

Want to learn more? Become a member of Educate Virtually and have access to over 100 courses. Subscriptions are either monthly or annual for extra savings. Sign Up Today!

Leave a Comment