Top critical review
14 people found this helpful
Written by perception without data
on March 4, 2012
I put two stars because I generally agree with what this book says; be prepared for unexpected. However, I was disappointed by the contents.
First of all, the auther picked "aircraft carrier operations' as an example of High Reliablity Organization. I checked US Navy aircraft carrier operation's non-combat injury rate in Navy's website and it was not low. Their injury rate/200,000 hours is 7-8, which is the median of the all indurstries.(Top quartile is around 3 according to US DOL website). As author's says, it is very complex operations which requires highly integrated team work, which I agree and - admire it - , but it is the nature of job and I do not see any part which can be leveraged to my manufacutring indutry's work.
Secondly, the author did not tell how to find any critical signals. He says "be mindful to small signals", but does not show how. There are so many minor signals in a single day - most of them are nuisance but a few are critical - you need to find out which one is the real important one before throwing a dice. Once things happened, you can easily tell which was the "critical" small signal. That's second guess and this is what this book did.
In any project, there is a flood of information - good, bad, unknown as well as input from many customers, collegues, supervisors etc, you got to do screening with your inner criteria and make a decision under uncernity. That criteria - why you think this is imporatnt and that is not - is the key to review before and after the project. Saying "he failed the project because he did not pay attention to xxx(small signal)" is the same with saying nothing.
I think - the real important thing is to build a memory of failure in organization by any means and keep learning to refine those decision making criteria - what to check, who to be involved, etc. Then review them periodically, like which premises succeed and which one did not. This knowledge will be a real value to the organization.